In a recent blog I talked about mistakes and the difference between mistakes of competency and mistakes of character.
One of the greatest problems with mistakes of character is that the pain and aggravation of them usually lies on the surface of emotion or gets deflected over to another person or group, and never really sinks deep into the soul where ultimate change can take place.
To push that idea a little further, here are five mistakes from which you cannot recover:
- Adultery. Adultery is rampant in our culture. Ask people like Tiger Woods and the results displayed in his life. Ask politicians. Famous people just like ordinary people cannot escape the nuclear fallout that arises from adultery. Adultery is the ultimate betrayal. It bares naked the soul. It is narcissistic, wounded, and can’t be trusted. Adultery is expensive both in monetary terms and its relational fallout. Avoid it like you would the plague.
- Pride. Pride is that inner drive that causes us to act against our own self-interest, even when everyone else can see it. Pride is lifting oneself up to a place which is not earned and cannot be sustained. Pride is so painful because it makes the bearer blind and deaf. It’s like walking toward a cliff. Everyone can see you’re near the end but you.
- Resentment. You might say, “Yeah, resentment can be recovered from.” Yes, I would agree. But too many times it’s not. Resentment is bitterness that’s taken hold deep down in the soul and it poisons the well of everything you try to do. It blocks the free flow of life because unforgiveness cuts you off, not only from God, but from everyone else.
- Laziness. Laziness can’t be recovered from because it wastes away the capital of life. It has no motivation or drive except that which comes from fear. And when you’re driven by fear, you’re being manipulated. Laziness discounts life as cheap, and people as something to be avoided.
- Assumptions. Of all of these, assumptions are probably the most deadly. Let’s say that you are a middle-aged man and you eat like you are a teenager. You fail to exercise because you’re too busy and you don’t have time. You wake up at 42 and have a massive heart attack. Triple bypass surgery and a for sure shortened life is now yours because you, as so many others do, assumed that you’d live forever and that you wouldn’t have to take care of your body because you’ve always been able to abuse it.
Assumptions are also deadly in marriage: assuming she’ll always be home because she’s always been home, that she’ll take care of the kids, and that she’ll always think you are her hero. It leads to neglect which a lot of people do after you get distanced. Communication dries up and all of a sudden you wake up and you don’t care anymore. Assumptions in business, in life, and in relationships are all deadly and you need to avoid them at all costs.
What’s the antidote to all five of these? Gratitude, humility, and joy of work. Gratitude, humility, and joy of work, that’s what I said. those simple things can get you up every day, remind you that life is a gift, that while you are not everything, you are something, and while you can’t do everything, you can do your thing.