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Putting Everything In Its Proper Perspective So You Don’t Beat Yourself Up Too Much

By: Brian Kim - December 8, 2008

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Everybody, and I mean everybody, has had that same experience of realization:

“If I only knew then what I know now…”

We beat ourselves up over how fast we could’ve achieved something, the opportunities we could’ve taken advantage of, the different paths we might have walked, etc.

As they say, hindsight is always 20/20.

But I want you to consider two things.

1. That it’s not possible.

2. That it should be that way.

It’s not possible to know it ALL in the beginning and sure, you can try to get some advice from other people who’ve been over the hill and maybe even send your own self back in time to tell your young self everything you know, but it’s not going to make any sense to your young self. Trying to give advice to young people is hard because it’s damn near a totally different language for them to understand. You can’t “translate” it. It just goes over their heads most of the time.

Language is insufficient to translate raw experience. It will only make perfect sense when you go through it yourself.

So the only way that you’ll truly understand is through experience and that brings us to the second point, that it should be that way – through that process of experience.

When you go through the process of experience, not only do you learn information, but you really learn. Experience sinks knowledge into our minds. There’s not enough credit given to the process, the process in which mistakes are made and lessons learned through experience and yes, while you can pass those lessons along, it won’t make any sense to the other person because that information is not attached to the weight of experience. The process is where all the magic happens and where all the “weight” is that “sinks” in all the information into our minds, yet nobody really realizes it because it’s so long and unpleasant most of the time.

Take for example, a common mistake that people will want to beat themselves up over which is getting into massive credit card debt when they were young. Let’s say it happened to you.

But look what might’ve happened because of that. Maybe you developed the habit of learning all you could about personal finance, self control, budgeting, and saving as a result while trying to pay down that debt. Had you not gone through that process, maybe you never would’ve developed those habits and learned all that information in the first place.

Maybe that experience forced you to take on a second job to pay down that debt, a job that helped you in some way find what you loved doing, which helped you find a totally new career you’re happy working in.

Maybe that experience led you to a new fulfilling career of helping other people get out of credit card debt.

Maybe it was better that you learned the lesson while you were still young rather than learning it right now, when you have a family and other people depending upon you financially.

There’s a million different things that could’ve come as a result of that experience.

So don’t fall into the thinking of: “Instead of doing this back then, I should’ve done that” because you never know how doing whatever “this” was impacted your life in ways you never imagined, even for the better (and what you’ll find later on, usually for the better).

Life is never “linear”. It’s so interwoven and complicated that you don’t really see the entire “web” of it and how one small action can ripple effect through everything and change the whole picture and the catch is you don’t see the ripple effect until you look back and ultimately see that it was a positive one in the grand scheme of things.

All life is preparation.

Preparation for that something each and every one of us will decide to do and it’s only through experience that we prepare ourselves for that opportunity and be able to know it when we see it.

And when that opportunity comes and you take full advantage of it and have great success, you will look back and wish you did it sooner, but then realize you were not prepared to take advantage of the opportunity back then.

But you’re grateful that the opportunity did come now and that you already went through the process to become ready for it to take full advantage of it.

So realize that everything that's happening to you right now is happening for a reason.

You're doing exactly what you're supposed to be doing right now.

It's just that you're too close to it to understand how it plays its respective role in the grand scheme of things.

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