Big Mistake Or Life Lesson?

1.12.2015

Making a big mistake is annoying. Making two is discouraging. Making three makes you want to give up.

How to learn to live with your mistakes? After all if you don’t learn this valuable skill they can accumulate in your mind over the years and eventually cause you health problems and prevent you from feeling relaxed and happy.

biggest-mistake-you-could-ever-make-is-being-too-afraid-to-make-one

This autumn, for the first time in 5 years, I’ve had a chance to totally concentrate on my work. When both of our children started daycare I thought “Now I can really get something done!”. Unfortunately it didn’t happen.

First weeks were just about realizing painfully how many mistakes I had made with SaimaaLife during its first years. “Why did I do that?!”, “I should have known that!” I blamed myself. And felt awful and embarrassed.

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The worst thing was to realize that our decision with my husband to start working together for SaimaaLife last winter had turned out to be a big mistake too. Yes, at best we are a great team but 90 % of the time our working together had been more or less a disaster.

I sat in front of my laptop and tried to push all my mistakes out from my mind. No success.

And the fact that financial pressure to make a living from my work grew bigger all the time didn’t make the situation any easier. Vice versa.

In the evening in bed all I could think about was the nightmare where I would be a long-term unemployed in the future. No one would hire me because I had ridiculed myself with my mistakes and wrong choices.

“I should have never even started SaimaaLife.” I even thought.

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Then came October. In the post about my depression I wrote that I “walked away my depression”. Well in October I walked a lot.

While walking alone in the forest and along the lake shores I was finally able to put my feelings and pressures on the background. And go through my mistakes with the voice of reason.

I looked for the answers for the questions like:

  • How much time and energy I had actually had during the past years to concentrate on my work?
  • How much my depression had affected to my work?
  • What were the reasons behind the choices that I had done?

And finally

  • What had I learned from my mistakes? Why did I even call them “mistakes”?

The result of my thinking process was: Considering the circumstances I had done quite good job during the past years. And learned pretty damn much about blogging on the way.

Besides, during the past years I had had much more important things to fight for than work – literally my life and our family’s wellbeing.

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Till the end of October we decided with my husband to quit working together. It would be best for our marriage, for our family’s finance and happiness and our personal health. My husband would concentrate only in his own work and SaimaaLife would totally be on my responsibility.

How did it feel like to be alone again? The first day I was terrified. The second day I went to sat by the lake.

The longer I sat outdoors the more clearer my thoughts became.

I decided where to put my time and energy next year and where not. I decided to gather a peer support group for my work. And before I went back inside I said to myself:Don’t be afraid, just trust yourself, you can do this.

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When there’s too much stress and hurry in our lives we easily become narrow-minded. And when we do we lose the perspective. That is the point where we easily make mistakes. And what is worse, we see our mistakes as just mistakes and not something that can also be useful.

A way to get perspective to your mistakes and life is to have more space around you by going outdoors to nature and not become stuck inside four walls. More space and fresh air around you helps you to see the bigger picture better, see the forest from the trees.

You don’t need to go for a week-long hike. Walks in the park can already help to connect to ourselves and think about our work and life wider than when just sitting if front of the screen.

Here’s a good article what happened when the editor of FastCompany challenged herself to step away from her desk and get our for a while.

married-couple-talking-with-each-other-outdoors

In the beginning of November me and my husband went to do some fishing together. We had good time together. We talked this and that and I worked in between.

“No way I regret starting SaimaaLife”, I thought when we sat by the campfire. “Without it I wouldn’t be here with my husband and doing the work that I feel passioned about”. 

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When I was standing alone on the beach I thought about the next year.

The cruel fact is that I have about a year to make my living from my work. Otherwise I need to find another job to cover my share of our family’s expenses. For a person who is still recovering from depression and who is not the best person in the world in advertising herself, there are challenges.

I basically have two choices.

A) I can either let my past continue discouraging me and affecting negatively on my work in the future.

Or

B) I can choose to utilize my past as a source of wisdom so that I can make better choices with my work in the future.

When I was standing alone on the beach I remembered reading somewhere that Angry Birds worldwide breakthrough was Rovio’s 72th game.

After remembering that again my choice was clear.

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In the evening by the fireplace I decided to continue following Steve Job’s advice with SaimaaLife; focusing on making quality things instead of just making money is a way to success.

I also made a decision that when I notice that I’ve made wrong choices I go outdoors. I’ll have more space around me to think about things. I’ll analyze my choices in a wider perspective to see whether my choice was really a mistake or not.

Or were it just another life lesson on the way to make better choices in the future. 

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