Admitting your mistakes is a powerful, transformational and necessary thing to do in order to insure continued personal growth. It isn’t easy to do, especially in the face of victimhood culture pressuring you to blame everyone and everything but yourself. Rather than being a sign of weakness, I believe that showing self-knowledge through objective analysis of yourself is a positive virtue. I’ve recently spent quite a bit of time looking back at the decade that was. In that period of time, I’ve made many large decisions with negative outcomes.
As an introvert, I’ve always been comfortable by myself and in the worlds of books and video games. As a non-athletic guy with limited social standing, I was emotionally comfortable believing that “it is what is inside that counts”. I looked down upon people that focused on their appearance or pursuits other than intellectual ones. Now I can see that I wasn’t just mistaken, but I fell into the same trap that many other people do. Poor people resent rich people and often subscribe to leftist ideas like all wealth must be ill-gotten. They don’t see the connection between hard work and risk taking with handsome rewards. I didn’t have any success in the “physical” realm, so I attributed virtue to the mental realm to soothe my subconscious. Falsely inflating the value of what I was already doing was emotionally non-threatening, but not particularly productive.
The preceding decade hasn’t been a total waste however, I’ve consumed and absorbed tremendous amounts of knowledge and insight. Hundreds of books, thousands of hours of video, audio and written content on politics, economics, history, psychology and so on. But that is only half the picture. Taking care of the physical vessel containing all this intellectual knowledge and potential is the other side of the coin. Failing to do so is just as dumb as skipping leg day at the gym. I’ve recently realized this and have therefore begun eating proper food, lost weight and started working out regularly. Had I had these habits from the beginning, I would have saved myself tremendous amounts of grief, but as they say “better late than never”.
Having a presentable outer shell piques people’s interest in you, allowing you to utilize your inner potential. Failing to have an attractive (or at least presentable) physique is key to success in contemporary society. As fitness guru A.J.A Cortez often says “physicality is mentality, mentality is physicality”. I will provide an illusory example. Being fat sends a message to potential friends, romantic interests or even potential employers. It signals poor time preference. A fat person (I should know, having been one for a long time) prefers the immediate gratification of overindulgence in calories rather than moderation over time and the future rewards of having a healthy body.
Nearly ten years ago I was struck by chronic illness. My health took a turn for the worse and it has taken many, many years for it to improve significantly. Together with this came the belief that my health wasn’t my fault, it simply was something that just happened to me. Bad luck in other words. This belief has specific policy implications, I didn’t strive for improving my health through healthy eating and other habits. My recovery would have been much shorter had I done so. My particular illness is caused partly by genetics and other factors aren’t known. This made the leap to the above mentioned belief structure short. It is another thing completely if let’s say you have been smoking a pack of cigarettes a day for twenty years and you get diagnosed with lung cancer. Then you can rightly blame yourself.
Admitting to myself that I have power and influence over my own health was a significant step towards improving my condition. I’m now as healthy as I’ve been since before the diagnosis. Getting here came through critical analysis of my own beliefs and discarding those that were wrong and counterproductive. Growth comes from learning and adjustment. Living life on autopilot isn’t conducive to health growth or changing bad habits. If you in addition to learning from your own failures, can learn from other people’s mistakes, you’re well on your way to success.