There are NO mistakes.
Back in 1994, Barry Neil Kaufman published a book titled Happiness is a Choice. The book centered around the work he had done with his own autistic son after experts had told him there was nothing that could be done for him.
The book filled tremendous insights that are useful to each of us. One that has always stuck with me was his “Mistakes Wheel” – an adaptation of the Native American Medicine Wheel.
His wheel contains five points of wisdom. The north direction on the wheel reminds us to learn from our mistakes. The west direction reminds us to learn from the mistakes of others. The east direction reminds us to learn from the mistakes of our teachers. The south direction reminds us to make as many mistakes as it takes. Finally, at the center of the wheel, is the wisdom that there is no such thing as a mistake.
The five principles are progressive. First you must be willing to see your mistake and learn from them. Next you must learn from others. This is the awareness to look at the people around you and learn from the mistakes they have made. The third step of wisdom is to see that even your teachers make mistakes and to learn from their mistakes.
I contend that fourth step is birthplace of the freedom this concept begets. Now you begin to see that mistakes are a part of the natural process of growing, learning, and becoming wiser. You stop beating yourself up for them and become a student fully ready to learn what they have to teach you.
In the last step, you break through to the bliss beyond concept. You have the full realization that there are no mistakes. It’s all wisdom. It’s all perfection. It’s all exactly what you needed to be the best you. It’s very much Tao concept that the bliss lies precisely in the chaos of the give and take between the light and the dark.
This model seems simplistic. I’d argue, if you dig a bit, there’s well-mapped path here. Whether you pursue its depths or just take this passing notice of the concept, I hope you’ll learn to see that everything is a lesson and the very concept of a mistake is pejorative judgment that cause you to miss the point again and again.
Power hack: Review your day today. How many times did you judge yourself or someone else? Did you make room for the mistakes you’re inevitably going to make? Did you see the lesson in them and can you learn to see them as not mistakes at all.
Follow your bliss. Experience your bliss. Become your bliss.
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