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The end of the year is a great time for reflection.
Although the new year marks an arbitrarily chosen point in our travel around the sun, it is quite symbolic.
Although it nice to look back on one’s achievements over the past 365 days, I find it can be even more beneficial to look at one’s mistakes.
I found that there are only a few courses of action available whenever you make a mistake:
- You keep dwelling on that mistake, a sort of mental self-punishment, which then effects your future behaviors in a negative way.
- You just dismiss that mistake without learning from it and therefore set yourself up for a repeat occurrence.
- You not only learn from the mistake but you also use that mistake to motivate you even more to achieve success.
Of course that last action pathway is the most desirable in terms of improving oneself both mentally and financially but it is not as easy as it seems.
Lord knows I have made plenty of mistakes, which essentially served as the genesis for this blog.
It would be a flat out lie if I said I never wallowed in misery from these mistakes.
Far from it.
Each mistake hit me hard and I went through that mental self-punishment phase every single time.
If I had a dollar for every time I asked myself, “How could you be so stupid?” I might have been able to FIRE much sooner.
But each time I got knocked down I picked myself back up and that truly is the key.
Life is not perfect.
Things do not go always as planned and sometimes there are cracks that form in your foundation, financially or otherwise.
Rather than try to sweep these imperfections under the rug, I embrace mine.
I am proud of the fact that I was able to overcome my past financial mistakes and put myself in my current position.
If I was a trust fund baby or all the financial stars aligned in my life from the very beginning, I doubt I would have as much joy as I do now.
Instead I had to fight and claw my way out of the predicaments I had placed myself in and, because of that process, developed a much stronger constitution.
This is why I identify myself with the Japanese process of Kintsugi.
For those not familiar with Kintsugi, it is truly an art form where you take an object that is broken and transform it into something even more glorious.
Kintsugi, also known as the Japanese art of repair, takes a damaged object, such as cracked pottery, and then uses gold or other precious metals, to rejoin the fragments.
Instead of just discarding the damaged object, the broken pieces are salvaged.
Instead of trying to mask the resulting imperfections, the fracture lines are not only highlighted, through the use of precious metals, but also become the main focus of the art piece.
Another positive unintended side effect of using a precious metal to join the broken pieces together is that the object becomes even stronger than the original.
I would go so far as to say that the resulting Kintsugi product is even more beautiful than the original piece.
My Kintsugi moment.
Facebook and Instagram are full of people who are trying to portray their best lives for the world to see.
These highly curated images are meant to display success (which sometimes turns out to be just a facade).
Unfortunately the repercussion from this is that people get a false sense of what life is supposed to look like and then become disappointed when their own lives do not match up.
I initially started this blog as a way to share my life experiences (particularly the failures) and let other people know that despite having numerous obstacles placed in front of me, there is still a way to overcome them and succeed.
No one likes to broadcast that they had a failed marriage.
No one likes to broadcast that they fell for multiple scams over and over again.
But I thought other people could benefit from my mistakes and hopefully avoid them altogether.
In essence I was highlighting my flaws/mistakes much like the gold used in the Kintsugi joinery process.
And like these newly joined Kintsugi pieces, I truly feel I am stronger because of it.
Finding your own Kintsugi.
The main take home point I want from this post is that it is our imperfections that truly make us human.
We are not infallible.
Physicians are human and can and do make mistakes.
Statistics show that a large percentage of doctors will have a medical lawsuit brought against them during their career.
Despite the frequency of lawsuits, it is incredibly rare to find a doctor opening up about a previous malpractice suit.
This is a shame because that person would be a great resource to go to if you happen to find yourself facing a lawsuit.
Likewise, making boneheaded financial moves, like I have done in the past, are often not discussed amongst colleagues who may benefit from the lessons learned.
We tend to keep our failures/mistakes to ourselves to try and keep up an illusion that just does not exist in reality.
If we all can find our inner Kintsugi perhaps we can not only elevate ourselves but those around us as well.
If you are in search of financial help, please consider enlisting the service of any of the sponsors of this blog who I feel are part of the “good guys and gals of finance.”
Even a steadfast DIY’er can sometimes gain benefit from the occasional professional input.
NOTE: The website XRAYVSN contains affiliate links and thus receives compensation whenever a purchase through these links is made (at no further cost to you). As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. Although these proceeds help keep this site going they do not have any bearing on the reviews of any products I endorse which are from my own honest experiences. Thank you- XRAYVSN