The Key To Making Less Mistakes In Life

What if you could avoid making all life changing mistakes? Investing years of your life into dating the wrong person only to have it end with breakup, failing in business and going bankrupt, or being a runner and getting a knee injury that would cause you to never run again?

Some people think it’s noble to make mistakes because it “builds character.”

This is a myth.

Making mistakes isn’t bad. They’re essential for growth. But some mistakes are fatal and making certain mistakes over and over again is time consuming and unnecessary.

In the book “The Selfish Gene,” Richard Dawkins, who is an evolutionary biologist and ethologist, says,

“Survival machines (us) that can simulate the future are one jump ahead of survival machines who can only learn on the basis of overt trial and error. The trouble with overt trial is that it takes time and energy. The trouble with overt error is that it is often fatal. Simulation is both safer and faster.”

This means your ability to simulate is what will give you a competitive advantage in the game of life.

Many of you may want to start your own business, climb the corporate ladder, or find the love of your life, and as you strive toward your goals you’ll inevitably approach many forks in the road where you will have to make certain decisions.

But every decision you make is a gamble.

Most people give no thought to this. Most people just make a decision they predict to be the right choice and then go down that path to see if they were right. After time if they see that it wasn’t the right path they turn back and take the other path.

They’ll repeat this process until they find the road that eventually takes them to where they want to go, but this is ineffective and is the least efficient way to start a business, to enter a relationship, or to achieve your goals.

The way to solve the problem of making predictions that could be mistakes is to become a learning machine.

If you want to improve your ability to simulate then you must simply read more.

You don’t need to learn everything the hard way through trial and error. You can learn what has worked and what hasn’t from the experiences of other people.

If you want to find love. for example, you should be reading books about the science of attraction and what successful marriages do that unsuccessful marriages don’t do, so you can learn to not make those same mistakes.

Sometimes you find the wrong partner, but there are books that teach you what to look for and what to avoid so that you don’t have to experience the pain of making the mistake of investing time into the wrong person.

Remember, everything has to be learned the easy way or the hard way. Most people skip the easy way, which is learning from other people’s success and failures. Don’t do that.

So many people have gone ahead of you in life and so you can learn from them. You don’t need to learn everything through overt trial and error. Save yourself the time and effort. “Employ your time in improving yourself by other men’s writings, so that you shall gain easily what others have labored hard for,” Socrates once said.

Warren Buffett said something similar, “People learn from mistakes, but it doesn’t have to be their mistakes.”

Realize the consequences of not reading and having to learn everything the hard way. The potential consequences of trying to do everything through trial and error will hurt you and could even stop you from ever reaching your goals.


21 thoughts on “The Key To Making Less Mistakes In Life

  1. Insightful post, can’t say I agree to all of it. I agree that life is too short to make all the mistakes in the world. You need to learn from others mistakes and avoid the pitfalls. But I don’t agree that human beings can be scientifically summed up in a book. Not everything is predictable even if we can group people in one, we are still different. What does not work for one, not necessarily will never work for others.
    Okay not trying to sound rude here. Sorry if I do. However, a nice post, really made me think. Which I love doing :). Thanks 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. you don’t have to agree with all of it, that’s not what I want, you can take the best idea from it and apply it to your life and leave out the rest if that’s what you choose. but I would make the guess that you haven’t read a lot of scientific books on love then? you would be surprised how accurate science can predict how you will act in a relationship. I would recommend reading the book attach by Amir Levine. it explains a lot on this.

      If you have read a lot of books about evolutionary psychology, science and human behavior though and still have the same opinion that humans cant be summed up scientifically then that’s different because you have both sides.

      when it comes to success though, every person’s problems and challenges are not something that is unique to them, and more importantly though, every solution has been given in a book by someone who has made that same mistake. I would say that every mistake that you have made could have been prevented by reading books. that’s just me, but i know mistakes are inevitable.

      I’m glad you liked it though and that it sparked a conversation:) let me know what you think:)

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Ok, since you are open for discussion 🙂
        Full marks on guessing I haven’t read anything on love psychology, for 2 reasons; professionally as a HR didn’t need it and personally I am more instinctive while dealing in relations. But since you have recommended me a book, I will read it. Probably will widen my perspective.

        Now don’t get me wrong I am not questioning the existence of scientific theories, because that would be questioning my education and my existence as HR. We need those theories and models simply because while dealing with thousands of employees in an organisation, one can’t sit and cater to everyone individually. We need the grouping.
        But as you said, every theory that comes out you would find a critic against it, why? Simply because there will be always be exceptions to the rule.

        I just felt when you spoke about “Mistakes” while dealing on individual basis these scientific summaries and psychologies probably won’t work. But that’s my way of thinking need not be right.

        I totally agree mistakes are inevitable and people who write about their experiences, do that to help. So we need to learn from them, that helps in making informed decisions. But I think we can only control ourselves, we cannot always control others and circumstances. We just need to decide and work towards making it right.

        Ok, this has become too long. Anyway I am no expert, I could be wrong in my theories; as I have come to believe all theories have loopholes :). Feel free to dig on mine too 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      2. You work in HR and don’t believe in catering to everyone individually? is that normal for HR? I wouldn’t know

        well I agree that we can’t control others and the environment. We can’t control the market place, the economy, or consumer behavior, but we can always control how we react to those situations. people who haven’t read books on the Hilton hotel story, amazon, or individuals like Grant Cardone, Gary Keller, then most people will think that going bankrupt was the result of market conditions when it wasn’t. it was the result of their inability to adapt and their own reaction to the environment. you can always adapt, develop new products, reposition yourself, and learn from the successes and failures of other individuals so that you don’t become another statistic, but if you don’t know how to do that, then it’s inevitable that you’ll fail and then blame outward circumstances.

        I think we’re getting off topic though. I think we both agree in the value of learning from other people’s mistakes so that we don’t have to repeat them.

        Are you just saying that you didn’t agree with my example that you can avoid finding partners who aren’t good for you?

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Oh! I completely missed your response.
        Anyway about HR, we do cater one on one, it’s not about belief, its more about numbers and limitations.The employees outnumbers HR in all organisations hence role sharing with Managers. I was just talking about why we need scientific studies since we can’ t consider each employees needs while defining any process.

        You have listed points I can’t argue about. Let’s call it truce 🙂

        About finding partners it was more personal, that I am more intuitive in these dealings. Nothing to do with not agreeing to what you are saying.

        Liked by 1 person

      1. Start with why : how great leaders inspire everyone to take action by Simon Sinek,
        The promise of a pencil : how an ordinary person can create extraordinary change by Adam Braun, and then some fiction books by Michael Robotham haha.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. oh wow, those first two books are great! I’m not much of a fiction reader though so I don’t know who Michael Robotham is:/ I hope you enjoy all of them though:)


  2. You don’t need to learn everything the hard way through trial and error. You can learn what has worked and what hasn’t from the experiences of other people.

    Yes, I get it. I agree, you don’t need to put your hand in the fire and get burnt – cause you already know how fire behaves.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I am not well read and it amazing me how much you have read and remember. Seriously, amazing. I do read
    self help self improvement hardly any fiction. Tiny bit of science. For me i agree books , learning are fundamental to development. Though i feel no matter how info people are surrounded with or is read their are some who have to put their hand in the fire and may be twice before they get it. I have always used this phrase about the fire, i just believe one should learn from anothers mistake, apply logic, and common sense. But my belief is flawed…becuase common aint common. Ignorance is bliss, and change is hard. For person like you who want to become better via books it is illogical, i am not an extensive reader but it is illogical for me why people dont want to improve. But thats the way the cookie crumbles not all are meant to the prime minister or president !!! I enjoyed the post. I like your other commentorr do take science with a pinch of salt , i do appreciate it can be accurate. Sorry written via smart phone that is playing up

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hey Bella:) can you explain the line where you said “For person like you who want to become better via books it is illogical.”? Are you saying for sometime like to me to want to improve by reading is not smart? If you can rephrase that please or explain it more that would help:)


  4. Hi Vincent, Let me rephrase. There are some people who need to get their hand burnt to learn the lesson. They wont learn from observation, reading or even googling. Ignorance is bliss, reading is a chore, to google and understand is a chore. So they will put their hand in the fire and learn the hard way, if they want to learn at all. Therefore, to a learner like yourself and myself this could be seen as illogical. Reading of course is smart, improving yourself is smart. But there are those in the world that even if a lesson stares them in the face they wont learn it. Eg. We lost someone to Esophageal cancer – the main reason for this cancer is drinking. In the UK they changed the drinking advise given by the NHS after gaining 20 years of research in Jan 2016. If I try to tell the family of the person who lost his life due to Esophageal cancer about drinking – guess what… I can’t. Some people want to be ignorant and ignorance is bliss… ahhhhh that is why it is so illogical for me, if you know better why would you still drink, if you lost a parent , why would you still drink… but alias ignorance is bliss!

    There is no edit function on wordpress, otherwise I would have corrected the original comment. Very sorry for the badly worded comment. Hope this clears up the confusion. If there is a way to delete your end please go ahead.

    Sorry nothing bad intended just badly worded. Sorry. Regards Bella

    Liked by 1 person

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