Avoiding the Six Mistakes of Mankind


Life does not have to be hard. Learning to respect one another is really very simple. Over 2,000 years ago, the Roman philosopher Cicero, wrote down what he considered the six mistakes of mankind.  We all make these six common mistakes- sometimes on a daily basis.

This article identifies those blunders and offers insight on how to avoid them.


Realizing The Six Mistakes of Man

The delusion that individual advancement is made by crushing others.

→ Worrying about things that cannot be changed or corrected.

→ Claiming that something is impossible because we think we cannot do it.

→ Refusing to let go of the small things that bug us.

→ Giving up on learning about new things and improving the mind-and not bothering to get into the habit of reading and studying.

→ Trying to force other people to believe and live as we do.


Avoidance can be a good thing at times

Assuming our goal is to avoid those six mistakes in order to live a happier, less stressful life with lots of happy people around us, let's look at a few examples for each one and see where there is room for improvement.

Thinking that you can only make yourself look better by putting others down or crushing them is something that affects all of us, whether we are the crusher or the crushee.

We all have a basic need to be respected and looked up to. Who doesn't want to be seen in a good light? Sometimes we go too far by playing the 'one-upping' game when we are with a group of people. You know, when one person tells funny story and has all eyes and ears on them...you're thinking that everyone finds this person to be entertaining and fun to be with. In an effort to prove yourself just as witty, you tell an 'even better' story about yourself in a similar setting. Then you wonder why people are just politely smiling and making excuses to leave. Another example might be that you destroy coworker’s ideas with zest and gusto during a meeting-with of all your co-workers and peers, and of course, your boss present. Your hope was to have the better idea and prove your expertise by pointing out all the potential flaws in your co-worker's plan in an effort to save time and money. With all those good intentions, you are left sitting alone in the meeting room and end up being un-invited to the next meeting.  Competition is a part of life.  There are certain careers that are built upon competition and if you can’t do better all the time, you are out of a job.  It would seem that people would rather get ahead by putting others down rather than concentrating on their own performances.  Many people tend to carry this part of their professional life into their personal life, only to find themselves rather discontented after a period of time.

The second and third points- worrying about things that cannot be changed or corrected, and claiming that something is impossible because we think we cannot do it, are the fastest and easiest ways to ensure people perceive you as the type to go on missions to do the impossible, but always end up angry and frustrated; therefore never completing or following through with things. They worry that asking you for help will upset you, so they go to someone else who will not spout words of gloom and doom if they run into problems. 

An interesting point to ponder is: what or where would science be if everyone thought that new ideas were too hard to bring to reality?  Look at all the advances in health and technology (good and bad).  Would be at home reading posts on the internet right now if we all lived with a gloom and doom mentality?  Not too long ago people pooh-poohed the idea of a computer in every home, let alone access to the world wide web...no way could it be done. 

Refusing to let go of the small things that bug us... Keeping all those small things pent up may seem like a good idea at the time, because they are after all, small things. If we mentioned every last little thing that bothered us about some one -to their face- well, I don't think they would hang around too long. Having said that, keeping all those things inside could result in you blowing your top over a minor issue, giving those around you the impression that you are a tad bit unstable with some serious anger issues to deal with.

The last two points, learning new things and accepting that others do things differently...
I have a friend who says that he is quite happy right where he is. He does not have to learn about new things- even at work- because he has no desire to get a promotion or ever leave his position. He is quite happy right where he is, thank you very much. He was not happy, however, when he was handed a pink slip because his job was considered redundant. They had no other position to offer him because he always refused the (free) training they had repeatedly offered him to update his skills. He was indignant! How dare they do that to him after all those years he did his job so well...true, but refusing to expand your horizons while others around you continue to grow oftentimes leads to a loss of opportunities and relationships.

The very last one, trying to force other people to believe and live as we do, is pretty self explanatory. Bullies are not well received or tolerated. Thinking that your way is the only way only insults other people and pushes them far away. No one ever respects a bully.


Mending your ways

This part is very simple-honestly! Remember what Aretha sang about years ago? "R E S P E C T...find out what it mean to me". Put yourself in the other person's shoes. Would you like to be shown up or cut down? Remember that feeling when you start to tear into someone again-you might find yourself giving compliments and support instead.  Finding the balance between cut-throat competition and passive advancement may be something to think about.  Yes, we need to stay competitive in our professional lives, but find a way to advance as a member of team rather than acting as a lone star is much less stressful and, I would thing much more rewarding.

Next time you worry over things you cannot control, ask yourself why you think it's your job to 'fix' it? If you are a religious person, it just might be the best time to have chat with your God or spiritual leader. Then you won't feel like situations are impossible, because you will remember you have someone to lean on.  We must learn to know and hold our place in this world, and be content with it.

Here is a well known cliché for you-'Don't Sweat the Small Stuff'. An overused phrase, I know, but it is also very true. The world does not exist because we do, and it will not fall apart because we really are not superman in disguise. We only have one chance in life.  Allowing the little annoyances to take over the way we think and act is useless in the grand scheme of things.  If you were lying on your death bed, would you be bothered about the way the heater sounds when it comes on, or would you be bothered by the fact that you let so much get between you and your relationships with people?

Don't be afraid to learn new things! Get out of your comfort zone and let yourself have fun. Really think about what you are losing when you refuse to learn new things. People around you continue to grow, and after a time, they might find it hard to talk with you, because you are stuck in 1980. Others may think you simply don't care enough about them to learn about the things that are important to them. Respect is a two way street.

If you find yourself upset much of the time because people refuse to believe and live as you do, ask yourself how you would feel if others started that very thing of you. Not a nice feeling- angering at the very least. So please, stop and learn to respect other people’s ways; it's okay to have different points of view. Seriously consider your need to control people, and seek guidance to help you learn how to respect others ideas.

Avoiding these six mistakes will not only help you forge better relationships in all areas of your life, it will give you freedom as well...freedom to enjoy things from a happier place in your heart.


Keep in mind


 Changing the way you think and do things is a huge step! It does not happen overnight

 Remember, people need to get used to the "new you.” Allow them to be sceptical at first. Take pleasure in knowing you are on the right path if people notice a change

 Don’t get discouraged-no one is perfect, we all do these things at times. As long as you keep trying to be kind and respectful, it will all fall into place.


What makes our species so interesting is the variety of opinion, likes, and dislikes that makes possible the art of conversation and debate. It would be a dull world if we all thought the same.







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