I conclude that we are unwisely taught to put ourselves down when we make mistakes. We may be punished symbolically or even physically. It’s like the custom of giving red marks on an exam for our mistakes instead of stars for all our correct answers. How many times have you received a red mark and said, “Aha, here’s my opportunity to learn”? So let’s recognize an important wisdom: we can and do learn from mistakes. Blaming, guilting, avoiding, giving up, and such related ways we commonly handle bad judgment are “bad judgments about bad judgments.” Recognizing and acknowledging a bad judgment is the action pathway to effective problem-solving.
Now we can ask: Must we only learn by making mistakes, by bad judgment? There is a better way. How about learning from the mistakes other people make? Most challenging issues are not so unique that we are the only individual who faces them. Humankind has become rulers on earth because so many individuals make mistakes, learn from them and are more than willing to share their solutions with others. We are special be the degree we invent sophisticated language to acquire, store, share, and pass on solutions to problems and continuously build on others’ experience. We can wisely use good judgment by learning from other’s mistakes and prevent the negative consequences when we learn from our own bad judgment. “Monkey see, monkey do.” Intelligent animals learn from others’ successes. We do too. Do we learn from others’ mistakes enough? Do we do so whenever we can? Successful people invest their energy in learning from others; they go out of their way to find mentors.
We have a very special, advanced way of teaching ourselves to consistently act with good judgment. It has been called by such names as “cognitive rehearsal” and “no trial learning.” Again, because of our advanced use of symbols to mentally manipulate knowledge, we can create multiple alternatives in our mind; we experience them privately and then apply common sense wisdom to select among the alternatives. We can practice and judge the consequences of our actions before launching them into the world of real consequences. No trial learning is our most powerful tool for prevention. Do you agree that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure? How important is prevention when it comes to managing our newest power to create weapons of ultimate destruction? Get the idea? I’m confident that you do.
I hope this stren will inspire you to keep growing your collection of wisdoms. Make it one of your highest priorities. Take in all that we have to offer but don’t ever stop collecting. The futures of our loved ones and Mother Earth depend on us. We require sufficient Mental Wealth millionaires to make common sense wisdom common by spreading our mental wealth to those with less opportunity to learn. Become one of the each one to teach one. That is really good judgment!
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