The Dangers of Hindsight

Phyl Campbell By Phyl Campbell, 29th Apr 2014 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL http://nut.bz/2bs0kg_6/
Posted in Wikinut>Writing>Personal Experiences

Regrets can be very powerful and life-affecting. "If only I'd worn my seat belt." "If only I'd given that boy/girl my number." We think about how much different life would be if only we had not made the mistakes we perceive. Would a mistake-free life be a better life?

Hindsight is Dangerous

"Our destiny is frequently met in the very paths we take to avoid it."
-- Jean de La Fontaine

As much as we might like to, we cannot change the past. Learning from mistakes is how human beings grow as individuals and as people. Without car accidents, no one would have invented seat belts. Without spelling errors, no one would have invented spell check (though the maker of autocorrect might have made a mistake -- that jury is still out for me).

The important thing about making mistakes is to learn from them. But one of the things I think we need to learn is the necessity of mistakes.

Where Were Monday Morning Quarterbacks Friday Night?

It isn't often that one major mistake completely derails a person's life. Usually it is a bunch of small things, combined with family history and personal experiences that guide a person into the choices s/he makes. Many people can look at the life of anyone else and say, "well, I wouldn't have done that." Of course, these people are right. Not being the other person, each has his own mistakes to make or her own successes to celebrate. For this reason, the proverb about not knowing a person until you have walked a mile in his/her shoes is very apt. It is why we should not judge others. It is why love of others should be the first, next, last -- the only -- thing on our minds.

Nobody is Perfect

I will be learning until I am dead. And maybe even after that. I appreciate being hopelessly flawed, because I think it helps me understand and accept other people better than if I thought I was perfect. Nobody is perfect. Perfection is an illusion. But we can all be very good at being human, at caring for others, and working every day to improve our present.

Einstein said that "insanity" was "doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." And I'm not saying that we should not learn from our mistakes. However, once made, we need to own them. Perhaps even learn to appreciate them. Mistakes make good stories. Mistakes build character.

Tell Me About It

Can you think of one mistake that you are happy you made? For example, some bad choices I made in junior high taught me that I never needed to try drugs in high school (which kept me out of a LOT of trouble). In the process, I learned some differences between real friends and fake ones. I wasn't the only one making decisions, but the collective effects of all those decisions were felt by the whole group, plus our families, teachers, and even people I didn't think knew us. I have met people this year that "knew of" me back then, and their understanding of who and what I was has been very enlightening for me.

Some people would say my efforts at Wikinut are a mistake -- because I'm not making a lot of money for the amount of time I put in. Again, my jury is still out. I did join to gain readers and to boost my income. I keep writing because of the support group I have found here -- people who read and offer praise or constructive criticism are worth a lot more than the PPV/CPC.


CREDITS
YouTube for video
morgueFile for pictures
cnwriter, siva, marilyn, connie, carol, kingwell -- for the fellowship
MODS -- for doing what they do! ;)

There's a very special event that goes along with this topic and its cause is very close to my heart for other reasons as well. It's the Walk A Mile In Her Shoes Event, and it takes place all over the country and most of the year round. It is an "international men's march to stop rape, sexual assault, and gender violence." Click on the event name above to learn more about this event.

Tags

Hindsight, Learning, Life Lessons, Mistakes

Meet the author

author avatar Phyl Campbell
I am "Author, Mother, Dreamer." I am also teacher, friend, Dr. Pepper addict, night-owl. Visit my website -- phylcampbell.com -- or the "Phyl Campbell Author Page" on Facebook.

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Comments

author avatar MarilynDavisatTIERS
30th Apr 2014 (#)

Good evening, Phyl - to paraphrase the song - regrets, I've had a few....poor choices....however, each one has been a lesson. If I approach them as such, I do not regret the past nor wish to shut the door on it to reply as we do in 12 Step meetings. I sincerely hope you will continue writing here, you know I will read and follow. Thanks for this one. ~Marilyn

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author avatar Phyl Campbell
30th Apr 2014 (#)

Thank you! An audience gives me a reason to write a little something -- not every day, but more often than not. Wikinut has been good for that, and I'm grateful.

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author avatar spirited
30th Apr 2014 (#)

interesting reading.

Are mistakes really necessary, I guess so because not too many of us are perfect enough not to make any...

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author avatar Phyl Campbell
30th Apr 2014 (#)

I think mistakes COULD be seen as matters of opinion. If you TRY to be your best self and make few mistakes, you may think you made a wrong choice but it was the best option available at the time. I often find myself between rocks and hard places, and just have to figure out which is best for me or for my family in the moment. And sometimes the best choice is no choice. That's a really hard one for me, because I'm a person of action much more than a person of thought -- alas, sometimes there is nothing to be done, often due to the other people and their free will that is involved.
Thanks for commenting, spirited.

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author avatar Fern Mc Costigan
30th Apr 2014 (#)

Nice post!

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author avatar Phyl Campbell
30th Apr 2014 (#)

Thanks Fern!

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author avatar Sivaramakrishnan A
30th Apr 2014 (#)

Thought provoking, thanks Phyl. The adrenaline rush is in trying and being the best that we can be, and not going through the motions of living. But I have a balanced take on life not to be reckless especially as age catches up with me! I have a feel that we are being tested for bigger challenges ahead and I do not mean on this earthen plane only - our eternal journey has only taken a breather here! siva

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author avatar cnwriter..carolina
30th Apr 2014 (#)

yes yes yes to your comment Siva...

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author avatar Phyl Campbell
30th Apr 2014 (#)

Not going through the motions of living -- I like the way you put that!. Thanks.

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author avatar Connie McKinney
30th Apr 2014 (#)

We are all human, and all humans make mistakes.
I really liked the message of this one, Phyl. I think you're right; nobody's perfect. We will all make mistakes. But we need to learn from them and go from there.

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author avatar Phyl Campbell
30th Apr 2014 (#)

Thanks, Connie! This one was special to me, too...

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author avatar cnwriter..carolina
30th Apr 2014 (#)

you are hitting the nail right on the head here Phyl..
J-R once told me that there is no perfection of the physical level..everything is perfectly imperfect ..a good axiom indeed.

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author avatar cnwriter..carolina
30th Apr 2014 (#)

and yes we need to learn from our mistakes as you so wisely have written...perhaps mistakes could be looked at as lessons of learning...love to you...

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author avatar Phyl Campbell
30th Apr 2014 (#)

Perfectly imperfect-- greataxiom, indeed. Thanks!!

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author avatar C.D. Moore
30th Apr 2014 (#)

A very wise well written article,Phyl. I agree sometimes mistakes are very worthwhile and seem part of ones life plan. So then, as you say,are they mistakes?

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author avatar Phyl Campbell
30th Apr 2014 (#)

Thanks, C.D. Exactly!

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author avatar Ptrikha
6th May 2014 (#)

Well written and thought provoking!

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author avatar Phyl Campbell
7th May 2014 (#)

Thanks, Ptrikha!

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author avatar Michelle Stanley
7th May 2014 (#)

Hi Phyl, you have made some itneresting points in this nicely written post. I also agree with the last paragraph, as I get the same responses from people. Did I listen? No. Am I happy being on Wiki? Yes.

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author avatar Md Rezaul Karim
8th May 2014 (#)

There are few brilliant personalities I see can write like this.. Great..

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author avatar Phyl Campbell
8th May 2014 (#)

Michelle -- me, too!

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author avatar Phyl Campbell
8th May 2014 (#)

Md Rezaul Karim -- thanks so much!

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author avatar Feisty
16th May 2014 (#)

Regret can eat us alive. I learned some years ago to put the "could have, would have, should have" thinking behind me. It's a waste of energy and resources for personal growth.

Thanks for this insightful piece.

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author avatar Phyl Campbell
17th May 2014 (#)

Thanks, Fiesty -- and thanks for the follow!

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author avatar Kingwell
17th May 2014 (#)

This is very thought provoking but certainly there is no point in having regrets. Learn from mistakes and move on.

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author avatar Phyl Campbell
17th May 2014 (#)

So true, Kingwell.

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author avatar Carol
19th May 2014 (#)

Good article, we cannot spend our life saying, if only.

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author avatar Phyl Campbell
19th May 2014 (#)

Thanks, Carol!

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author avatar WOGIAM
20th May 2014 (#)

Life is learning from our mistakes and experinces, life is made up of regrets, hindsight, wishes et al but the most important thing is learning from our and the mistakes of others.
Motivating article.

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author avatar Phyl Campbell
20th May 2014 (#)

Thanks, WOGIAM. I am glad you found motivation in it.

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author avatar Lady Aiyanna
20th May 2014 (#)

It is said practice makes you perfect which means you repeat it over and over again until the time is up and learn the moves and positions as that is all that is needed for a win in a game.
Its the same in life, experiences show you the challenges faced and you learn the solutions accordingly without batting an eyelid but knowing what to do next when the challenge arises. I am always prepared and what you perceive is not always the case but on the contrary, what you practice shows you the moves you need to make although observation brings in the challenge on how to defeat the opponent and win the game.
Its Home Run Phyl and you ain't doing it.

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author avatar Lady Aiyanna
20th May 2014 (#)

Check the hinds of SIN, they are freely displayed to ALL and I mean ALL.... Does it ring your Bell too now within the camp Phyl??? Its just her heee haw passed on to you that is all but the truth is within your memory on what you did and I am not you to guess or hear or need your explanation or rants but will give you plausible explanations if you have the time to read it without grinning like a jackass and calling people clingy to SIN. I am not clingy to SIN, sending it back to Damnation that is all....

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author avatar Lady Aiyanna
20th May 2014 (#)

Without a Kick.... As I don't drink, smoke or do the Golf putts that you so badly need too....

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author avatar Phyl Campbell
20th May 2014 (#)

Lady Aiyanna -- I am honored. You took my bait and accepted my challenge. Six shiny new nutpoints for me! Thanks! I won't pretend to understand a lick of any of your three comments, but I appreciate the fact that you are trying. And you are trying, aren't you, my dear? I hope you have an exceptional day reaping everything you sow and so much more.

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author avatar cnwriter..carolina
20th May 2014 (#)

oh luverly dear Phyl...crack the whip on the ass's head....

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author avatar n.c.radomes
23rd May 2014 (#)

Would a mistake-free life be a better life? Certainly, yes. And if anything happened to us in that state, we can say in all honesty that it was fate or t'was God's will. We must try to avoid committing mistakes at all times. It is possible with HIM leading us. God bless.

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author avatar Phyl Campbell
23rd May 2014 (#)

Some would say mistakes are God's will. But mistakes include many wonderful inventions and people whose parents were not ready to be parents!! Every time it works out, it works out. When I think of a perfect life, I think of Stepford Wives, hidden lies, and a whole lot of trouble. Still, I appreciate your sentiment. Thanks, n.c.

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author avatar Sherri Granato
7th Aug 2014 (#)

Another insightful piece that begs for us to give extra attention to certain things that we may otherwise ignore.

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author avatar Phyl Campbell
7th Aug 2014 (#)

Thanks, dear! Much appreciated!

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