Tag Archives: Mistake

Learning from mistakes

UllaToday was a very emotional day for me, as one of our dogs was (and is) very sick and I was quite affected with it and didn’t know what to do. And there is quite some history to this, as quite some years ago I was confronted with a very sick also and I felt wrongly advised by the vet, resulting in a dead dog, a dead puppy of maybe 2 or 3 months old. And I was very angry with the vet, as they hadn’t advised me properly, and if they would have, the dog might not have died.

So I saw myself confronted with another dog with a similar problem, not being able to keep any food or fluids in her stomach, which was the same problem the other dog had, and not really knowing what other vet to go to, as somehow this is still ‘our’ vet and probably still the best known vet in Cagayan de Oro City.

And I don’t have any money and we don’t have a car, so it’s a lot of hassle to bring a sick Rottweiler to a vet. And she really looked sick and she is already something like ten years old, so last night I kind of gave up on her already and was wondering if I would see her alive this morning. But she was still alive tonight and even moved to another place a few meters away while she could hardly walk and she looked pretty okay this morning (see photo). And she still tried to eat, although she didn’t want to drink anymore, but it was very frustrating to see that it all came out again. Somehow here digestive system couldn’t process it anymore.

So this morning I felt pretty bad and didn’t know what to do and I had no feeling whatsoever of Infinite Intelligence or God or a hunch or whatever one might look for when one is lost, so I just waited and lie a bit on the couch and just checked on the dog again and again not knowing what to do, basically waiting for her to die.

And yes, I was kind of sending prayers out to God or The Universe or whatever to give me some answer, as I really didn’t know what to do and had no feeling about it. And no, no  answer came.

Until, somehow I posted a message in Facebook (with above photo) sharing my feeling of being lost an confused, not expecting anything.

And then, somehow my prayer was answered. As when I checked later I saw the post got quite some comments, some of them urging me to go to a vet NOW. And I didn’t get the answer fully yet, as I asked for help, help that didn’t really come in the form of someone offering to bring me to the vet in his or her car.

And then, somehow I went to Ulla and saw her eat the baby food we gave her again and again, trying to somehow keep it inside, which she didn’t manage. And then I knew it was time to move, indeed get a taxi and just bring her to the vet to figure out what was wrong with her, as somehow she hadn’t given up on herself, where I was not sure whether to give up or not.

And looking back it was indeed some inspired answer, something Infinite Intelligence, as I just knew what to do and that it was the right thing. And indeed, as indicated in Law of Attraction stuff, somehow things started to move by themselves. I informed the vet she didn’t need to come to the house anymore, which I had requested before, but what didn’t happen. And apparently for a reason, as looking back I would have needed to go down to the city anyhow. And a taxi was quickly found and soon we were on the way to the vet. And the vet just did her job and analyzed what was going on and sent us out for x-rays (strange, didn’t know that was also done with dogs). And everybody was just helpful and tried to figure out what was (and maybe still is) wrong with her. And I also knew I had to leave her behind, something I kind of dreaded, as with the other dog the next day I just had to pick up a dead dog and had to pay a pretty large bill.

And it was relatively easy to do all those things and to trust all those people and Ulla also seemed to know, as even on the x-ray table she wiggled her tail and seemed pretty okay. And it was strange to see and know that the helper of the vet still knows Ulla and he just joined us to the x-ray venue and carried Ulla on his own (as I try to avoid carrying because of my back injury and our helper that I asked to join seemed not needed for carrying her).

And the hardest part, leaving Ulla behind, as I wanted her to be on IV, wasn’t as hard as I expected and Ulla seemed pretty okay in the cage alone with the other dogs. And no, of course this may not end good like her having a real big problem with her intestines, or she may just die tonight. But the last I doubt as she is looked in pretty good shape and alive, especially after receiving the IV fluids, contrary to the other dog, but everything just felt right.

And this all made me think of learning from mistakes, one of the self analysis questions, and I think I learned a lot, even though I thought I was making the same mistake again. But I didn’t, as this time I didn’t wait so long before taking charge. And I shared with other people what was going on. And I took responsibility for all the decisions I made (and didn’t and probably won’t blame the vet for anything).

So of course I don’t know if Ulla is going to be okay again, I mean she is getting old and she is still pretty sick and weak. But I doubt she is going to die in the clinic as she looked quite okay when I left and I am determined that if she is going to die she will die at home.

Self analysis, question 39

I just got an e-mail I don’t like so much as it is a request for additional information about mistakes I have made. And it makes me scared and it also annoys me, as I could have never made the mistakes if I wouldn’t have taken the responsibility I took. So I am quite affected by this in a negative way as I hoped I would have gotten away with my mistakes but apparently I didn’t.

So what does this mean? Should I have never taken this responsibility? I guess not. And what have I learned from it? Well, not sure, as I believe I still make similar mistakes.

Anyhow, maybe just go with today’s self analysis question, as I am trying to develop the habit of not dealing with things straight away, like dealing with this e-mail or answering it right now. But I do feel very uncomfortable right now, but maybe today’s question will help me get some more clarity on this.

And today’s question is “Do you form your own opinions or permit yourself to be influenced by other people”? And I guess this certainly relates to the situation related to the e-mail, as my own opinion is that I made mistakes, but the other side also made mistakes. And other involved parties made mistakes. And I am certainly influenced by other people in this case as I take their opinions so serious that I am really affected by it.

Ah, and another opinion of myself is that I still don’t know how I could have done things differently as given the same situation, the same circumstances I would probably do the same.

And how would I make up for the mistakes, correct the mistakes? Well, that is a very difficult question that I don’t know how to answer, as I don’t see any reasonable way to correct the mistakes. And I am quite sure the other party or parties involved would know how I should correct the mistakes. But I don’t agree with that opinion. As they are not me and don’t know my exact situation, don’t know what I feel, where I stand, why I did and do what I did and do.

And this all goes back to that we all grow up by experiencing others opinions, about right and wrong for example.

So what is really ‘my’ opinion?

Self analysis, question 33

Ah, another question I don’t like: “Do you analyze all mistakes and failures and try to profit by them or, do you take the attitude that this is not your duty”? So it seems we are getting somewhere as I think I am facing some more things now than I did in the past, much more things.

The most important issue here I think is that I don’t admit mistakes really. Mostly I reason that in the given circumstances I did not have any other chance than deciding what I decided, which of course in a way is true. But it implies that I never make mistakes, or at least not admit I made mistakes. And the last is probably not really helpful for my progress.

So what’s a mistake? Something like ‘something wrong’.

And right now I am very, very tired, so it may not be wise to continue here now.

But no, I don’t analyze all mistakes and failures and I am certainly not trying to profit from them as I don’t admit making them…

Self analysis, question 13

Well, a few days ago when I was doing the previous self analysis question so let’s see what the question for today is. And it is “Do you learn something of value from all mistakes?”.

And this is a hard one as it seems I don’t fully know what’s a mistake, which may sound weird, but I think there is some truth in it, at least for me. And this brings me to do a search for ‘mistake’, which brings me to: “an action or judgement that is misguided or wrong”. And some more: an error in action, calculation, opinion, or judgment caused by poor reasoning, carelessness, insufficient knowledge, etc.” or a misunderstanding or misconception”.

The problem is that in my opinion you can’t make a ‘mistake’ as I believe that everybody always does what he or she thinks is best, given the knowledge, experience, etc. he or she has. So looking back I don’t really know what I have done ‘wrong’ anytime, even though there are some things I guess I would have done different, indeed, when looking back.

As today, or actually yesterday, I made a mistake, quite a large one, even a repeated one, but I didn’t know what else to do as it felt and feels like choosing between two bad things, where I chose the easy way out. So did I learn from this mistake and previous similar mistakes? Well, apparently not, as I keep making the same mistake again and again.

But I don’t see any alternative that is better!

But indeed, that is not the question, whether I made a mistake, even if it is the same mistake. The question is if I learned something of value from it. And again, in this case, I don’t think I learned anything of value. I just ‘lost’ and keep losing with this same mistake over and over again. And I tried doing different, but the result was always negative, more negative, at least on short term. And I believe in the long term this mistake and similar mistakes may catch up with me, but until now it didn’t, so until now I just keep getting away with my behavior even though I consider it wrong.

So the only thing of value with the type of mistake of today, the repeated mistake, is that I can get away with it, at least until now. So is it then still a mistake? Or is it a mistake anyhow looking at the definitions above? Like I consider it poor judgement or an error in calculation (figurative calculation), but until now I have been proven wrong as the result has not been negative, except me feeling bad about it.

So is a mistake only a mistake if the outcome is bad? And with this my motorcycle accident from five and a half years ago comes into mind, a motorcycle accident in which I was severely injured, even almost died. And I know now what the mistake was, something like riding a motorcycle at my age without any decent practice in a group, in this case a group of two. So did I learn something of value from it? Yes, I think so, as I would still ride a motorcycle, but not anymore in a group, even though I now know that it is much more dangerous than I thought before the accident. As I also learned something like that every motorcycle rider, literally every motorcycle rider will have an accident in the end, a bad accident where he or she gets badly injured or dies.

And yes, many business mistakes come into mind, and yes, I believe I learned something of value from them, especially the large ones where I lost a lot of money, even that much that I am still suffering from that, still was not able to pay all my dues. So I learned to be more careful, but I still made similar mistakes, even though every time I did better. But not good enough.

And that is where I am very frustrated, as I think I learned a lot, an awful lot, in life, mainly because of mistakes. But I never learned enough to finally do ‘good’, do well, run a business or do a job that brings me and my customers and co-workers happiness, value and money, in other words pleasure.

So well, let’s look a bit closer to the definitions of ‘mistake’ and see if I can recognize mistakes better. As that may be the first step to improvements, the improvements I need so badly.

Self analysis: question 3

Question 3 in the self analysis questions is “Do you frequently make mistakes in your work, and if so, why?” is a question I never really understood as I didn’t believe I made so many mistakes, but recently I noticed that while programming I often use some kind of trial and error message and while starting this post right now I realize I made lots of mistakes, big mistakes, otherwise my business would be thriving right now and not technically bankrupt.

So maybe there is some more to this question than I initially thought, maybe especially thinking of the small programming mistakes I make, at least for now. The large business mistakes I think I need to think a bit more about before writing about them or analyzing them properly.

And the programming mistakes are just related to that that seems to be the fastest way to develop websites, web applications, programs, at least with PHP, the scripting language I use. And it is strange, mentioning PHP, or even using it, as it is kind of the worst programming languages in existence. Or actually it is not even a programming language, it is some kind of script interpreter where ‘anything is allowed’, the worst way of programming in existence, contrary to more formal and real languages like Pascal (the language I learned first) and Java, a more recent, very strict, programming language.

So how I use it is kind of write or change one or a few lines of code, then see if it works and then repeat the process. And apparently that is the fastest way, at least for me, to develop code, to develop the stuff I am making the things I am good at. But with this question in mind and with the idea that I was taught to do something right the first time my method of developing software, my working method appears to be a bit strange. As most code I write has many errors the first time, which I just solve by testing the result and solving the errors.

And thinking further my way of programming is also very weird, as normally one makes some kind of design, preferably written down and discussed with the customer, where I just see the thing I want to build, am building in my head, through my imagination, at least the structure, and then just build it. And recently I read a book about cognitive science and when reading that book I realize I build software, websites, web applications as an expert, as I can’t tell you or anyone else how I do it, I just do it, I just ‘see’ in my head how it is supposed to be and then I build it.

So why do I make so many little mistakes, and also bigger mistakes, sometimes kind of fatal (programming) mistakes that sometimes show up much later, where fatal means that customers or website users would see them.

Well, I guess the why is that I believe that it is the fastest way of building the stuff I make. Or the most efficient. Or the cheapest. As I can type fast and program fast and with that fast pace it is often the fastest way to accept errors and correct them after testing, after checking if it works or not.

But anyhow, the question made me think about the enormous amount of typing and small programming mistakes I make. And that is okay, as it works for me. But right now the question is triggering another question: if I also make so many mistakes in other areas of my life and if that would also be acceptable or the fastest way.

So that is something to think about further, analyze further. But not now.

Thanks for reading and of course comments are very welcome as usual.