Friday, August 31, 2007

Mistakes and Learning Experiences

It's coming up on six months that I started this blog and now I look at the mistakes I made in starting and developing this blog.

But wait! Did I make mistakes? I guess that depends on what perspective I take in looking at the last six months.

(If you're thinking "Is this just a post about Dean's learning experiences with blogging or is there a moral to this story?" Go ahead and keep reading, you'll find out soon enough.)

In January 2007 did I know anything about blogs and blogging. Not really. I thought they were only for sharing information with family, friends and the MySpace crowd. Not a good image. Then I did some research. Learned how extensive blogging has evolved beyond the family, friends and MySpace crowd. I learned about linking, search engine optimization, comments, pingbacks, bloglogs, etc.

OK, so now I've learned some information and with this information, I'm going to plunge in and get started.

Ready * Fire * Aim

But wait, how do I get started? Blogger, Wordpress, TypePad? Use a free service or get my own domain and get a hosting service? At the time, this was a new process for me. I knew some information, definitely knew I didn't know everything and I was willing to learn as I went along and make corrections later. (I think this is a key point in perspective about mistakes and learning experiences.)

Ready * Fire * Aim

Almost six months later, I find that there is more to blogging than I initially thought. I enjoy blogging more than I find challenges to blogging. I'm thinking "OK, this is looking like something I want to continue doing." I've had a itch to write for years and never took pen to paper (see how long I've been itching to write). Business and love letters aside, I have spent very little time writing since my college days. Except for my Rocky Horror Communication Analysis paper, college papers were for the most part, very dry.

(Here is one hint to happiness, do something you like doing. I know everyone says DO what you LOVE doing, but I like writing. I love helping people, I love sharing information with people. Blogging is one way of sharing and helping people.)

Over the past couple of months, I've watch my readership climb, but have I reached people? (I hope so.) Have I made a connection? (again, I hope so.) Do I have all the tools available to optimize my writing, my readership, my reach and more? I've come to realize no. Time to make corrections and changes. Coming soon to a browser near you, a different look and feel. The learning experiences brought up by six months of blogging. (Comments and suggestions are welcome.)

Ready * Fire * Aim

Ok, now, Do I have my life on the line? No. Do I have lots of money on the line? No. Will my whole world collapse around me if I go Wordpress OR TypePad? No.

Does the severity of the questions we ask, affect how we look at mistakes verses learning experiences? Most likely, but will taking one approach "learning experiences" produce better outcomes than "mistakes"? I hope so.

Here is a personal example:

I recently, 2006, nearly lost everything. Here comes the emotional downward spiral: two "less than successful" businesses; I ended up moving in with my ex-father-in-law and was staying in the bedroom that my ex-wife grew-up in (Weird huh); unemployment for 3/4 of the year and only a part-time job the last 2 months of the year. At the time, were there mistakes made. Yes, mostly believing in mistakes as something bad. Intellectually, I knew about learning experiences, but emotionally I was wrapped up in the mistakes. And emotions are the fuel for attracting into our life. As I was focusing my attention on lack and failure, 2006 got worse and worse. It was unpleasant and I could see myself spiraling but was blinded to the answer.

December 2006, I'm introduced to The Secret. Nothing really new here, but it just shined a light in a dark cavern and got me to THINK again. DUH! The emotional charge of failure and making mistakes clouded my thinking.

2007 rolls around and things start changing. New job, new career, new opportunities. Get a new place to live and then the my children's mother tries to take custody of them from me. Hmmm. What's in your vibrational escrow. But that is a whole other topic.

It's now the end of August. I've been viewing that whole year as a learning experience. I'm able to look back at the businesses that were less than successful in 2006 as learning experiences. I've taken the emotional charge out of the mistakes (thanks to EFT and writing) and now using that time as information to make new choices going forward.

Moral of the story:

Mistakes are what we beat ourselves up with mentally and emotionally. I know, I've been there. By changing how we view life events as learning experiences, we can take in new information and process this information to a more positive outcome of the event and with an open mind, we can see more clearly.

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