By: Atreyee Chowdhury
All of us make mistakes – but survivors are the ones who learn from their mistakes. Dr. Henry Cloud, author of the book ‘Never Go Back: 10 Things You’ll Never Do Again’ (Howard Books, June 2014) studied successful people and observed the things they never do a second time.
He says that years ago he took a bad decision regarding his business and realized something while talking to his mentor. “I had learned a valuable lesson the hard way, and he reassured me: ‘The good thing is once you learn that lesson, you never go back. You never do it again”, he adds.
Writing for success.com, Dr Cloud points out the ten mistakes that successful people never repeat:
1. Going back to something that hasn’t worked out in the past. Whether it is a career path or a relationship, it is best to not return to something that did not work out well in the past, unless of course significant factors have changed in the meantime.
2. Opting for momentary pleasures over long term goals. If they know a certain goal requires working really hard, successful people don’t mind going the extra mile. They don’t shell out for cheaper pleasures since they have their eyes set on the big picture.
3. Being involved in something that doesn’t let them be themselves. Whatever you do, you must have a clear answer as to why you are doing it, and what drives you to be a part of it. Does it serve me right? Can I continue doing it? If the answer is no, you should reconsider your choice.
4. Trying to please everyone. While it is important to not be hurtful or malign, it is impossible to please everyone. Successful people prioritize only those who matter and are solely concerned about their feelings.
5. Believing something that appears perfect. If it is too good to be true, it probably is. While we all want to believe in the best case scenario, sometimes a little reality check is necessary. Someone or something that appears to be flawless usually has a lot of hidden conditions or problems behind the scenes. No need to be a cynic. You just need to be careful.
6. Avoiding attentiveness. As boring and time consuming as it may be, diligence helps people comprehend the real picture. It is an essential safe-guard behind problems that may arise in the future. If you want to be successful, you must never avoid such checks.
7. Trying to change someone. It is important to be yourself, however, it is also equally important to let others be themselves. Don’t force people into doing something that only you believe is the best course of action, even if they are going down the wrong path. All you can do is suggest, but ultimately they need to make their own mistakes and learn from its consequences.
8. Failing to ask why they are in a particular situation. Successful people always check on their progress. They ask themselves why they are in a particular situation and what role they are playing. This helps them understand their progress and whether or not they have taken the wrong course.
9. Knowing that internal and external lives need not always stay connected. Even though research says that our inner life determines the way we perform in our outer lives, it is critical to create some disconnection from time to time. However, this does not mitigate the need for introspection either. Therefore, when you repeat the same mistake, look within to figure out why you seem to be stuck in a vicious pattern.
10. Swaying from goals. Those who achieve success are aware of the fact that no single incident defines the ultimate. They keep their eye on the bigger picture and keep moving forward.
Dr. Cloud says, “…pain is unavoidable, but repeating the same pain twice, when we could choose to learn and do something different, is certainly avoidable”.