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In Praise of Mistakes and Embarrassment

I don't like making mistakes. In fact, I think I dislike it more than most people.

Yet, in any discipline that includes new and novel and pioneering things, mistakes must be made. This is not a good thing, per se. But it's not a bad thing either. It's just a thing.

Mistakes happen.

Embarrassment is something else entirely. The vast majority of mistakes won't be noticed by anyone else, but embarrassment is when you do something that you don't like how it reflects on you to other people.

While most mistakes can be fixed and then mostly shrugged off, I think embarrassment cuts people much deeper. In fact, I've heard plenty of anecdotes of a person getting embarrassed the first time they tried to do something, and then not trying again for a few years. Or quitting entirely, even.

Advice If You've Got The "Rage to Master" Personality Trait

Got a long email from a reader with some great questions - he's a very impressive dude, but he has a hard time sticking with something for more than 1.5 to 3 years. If you have this trait as well, you might want to pay close attention to this post

And I have a real problem "falling in line" with the rest of society in a stable, consistent and "normal" life. I just feel like it's not me.

Yup, I know exactly how you feel. I've been in similar places. So have a lot of my friends. Some thoughts -

What I see as a recurring theme in my jump from job to job and industry to industry is my utter lack of real fulfillment. Don't get me wrong, I do have a temporary sense of fulfillment and meaning with the careers I have pursued, they just don't seem to last. Once I have focus on what it is that I want to do I am relentless in achieving it. For instance, after 3 years in the --- industry I have acquired the knowledge that many people don't achieve until 10, 12 or even 15 years in the industry. However, that life-cycle tends to be around 18-months, where I then become unfulfilled by the rate of learning and progress I am making. This ultimately leads to erratic behavior within the succeeding months and a feeling that I need to drop what I'm doing and move onto something else - whether that be a new job or a new career altogether.

Google the term "rage to master" - click around, read some summaries, and then check out a couple academic papers. It will be very worth your time.

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