Breaking the Cycle of the "6 Mistakes of Man"
Written more than 2,000 years ago Roman orator Marcus Tullius Cicero explained the six mistakes of man which holds true today. Why centuries later do we still hold and act upon these beliefs? Not only in politics, religion, and business practices, these actions continue in the realms of everyday life. As you read through each one, think how it applies to your own life and how to personally change this mindset to move past these negative behaviors.
1. Belief that personal gain is made by crushing others
It amazes me how often I see this belief system acted out. Turn on the television at any given moment and I guarantee you will see it within minutes. There is a twisted notion that to gain personal success, we must put down others to make ourselves "look" better. While you may believe at the time you are achieving your own goals by finding fault with someone else, you are in essence hurting yourself. By tearing down others, you are creating negative energy which will eventually affect yourself. To be truly successful in life, one must focus on their own energies and commitments. To destroy other people's belief systems, character and achievements will ultimately hurt you. I see this most often when an individual is pursing their dream and self-improvement. Those who are weak and insecure find the need to say cruel things about the other and spread nasty gossip. As you go through your day, manage your own thoughts and the moment you feel the need to put someone down, change your thoughts to how you can improve upon yourself. Finding fault in others does not elevate yourself.
2. Worrying about things that cannot be changed or corrected
How often are you guilty of this? In life there are some things we can control and others that we have no control over. So if we cannot control or change it, why waste our precious time worrying? If it can be changed or corrected, then there is no need to worry.
3. Insisting that a thing is impossible because we cannot accomplish it
We live in an amazing time where life is changing quickly before our eyes. To think that something cannot be accomplished is foolish. How do you think people during Cicero's time would have reacted to electricity, airplanes, going to the moon, cell phones, etc.? It still baffles me how I can pick up a small device, push some numbers and be able to instantaneously see and hear someone from the other side of the world! If people throughout centuries continued to believe in the impossible, then our lives would be dramatically different today! World peace is possible, love is possible, worldwide compassion is possible...if we collectively changed our mindsets to the possible what more amazing wonders can we accomplish? Let go of pessimism, it has not place in our lives.
4. Refusing to set aside trivial preferences
Living in an ego driven mindset is way too common. We become consumed with what people thing of us (our reputation), what designer clothing we are wearing, what handbags we carry, what neighborhood we live in, what parties we attend...the list goes on and on. With social media prevalent in our everyday lives, the ego has taken a new life of its own. It's time to let go of the self-indulging nature we carry and be more aware of what is happening around us. It is time to let go of trivial disagreements with family and friends and focus on gratitude. There are children starving all over the world, yet we are quick to complain about our meal taking longer than expected to be served. We get upset if we see our friends having a good time without us. Get out of your narrow mindset and change your thoughts to how you can give to the world. Do some charity work or just focus on being kind each and every day!
5. Neglecting development and refinement of the mind
I remember when I completed my thesis for my graduate studies and being excited that I never had to write another paper again! Oh, how I was wrong. Maturity taught me otherwise. Learning does not end with school. In fact, the best life lessons and wisdom I gained was not from college, but from my own actions to feed my brain and experiences I had throughout life. Never hinder yourself from learning. Read books, ask questions, experience the world outside of your bubble! When we immerse our minds in reading and seeking wisdom for our own pleasure, our lives become more deeply enriched. Learning never ends! And in regards to never writing again, I am in the process of completing my first book!
6. Attempting to compel others to believe and live as we do
Our belief systems are ours and ours only. We are continuously being told what and how we should believe. I am a deeply spiritual person and attend weekly mass, yet I am constantly bombarded by others (most often friends and family) that I need to believe as they do. This can become frustrating and lead to resentment. There is no truth, only perspectives. For instance, when looking at a scientific debate on to do or not to do, both sides of the argument will focus on the studies that give the best light to their own perspective. Don't be afraid to ask questions and look outside your own point of view or belief systems. Much of our beliefs are based on our own upbringing and experiences. Not one of us has the answers to everything and there is always more than one way to live a healthy life in body, mind, and spirit. Remember, ego insists you are right! We have enough ego-driven people in the world, live your own and stop the desire to judge others on how they should live theirs.
Don't feel bad if you are guilty of any of the six mistakes Cicero pointed out. In fact, all of us are guilty to some degree as mankind has been for centuries. Now is the time to take awareness of these mistakes and focus on how to eliminate it from your own life.