On Fixing what is Broken ...

"As soon as you realise that [something] is a problem, you should fix it.  Don't be a dumbass." - Dolly Parton, Billboard.com

I didn't think I'd ever quote the wisdom of Dolly Parton, but this quote shows me at least 2 things: you can't survive a life in a cut-throat business like music without a lot of intelligence; and, if you make a judgement about something, based on NOTHING, then you should be prepared to revisit that opinion when new information presents itself.

All my life I have made mistakes.  I have certainly lost more than I've won.  I have been wrong more times that I care to count. I am also guilty of being so self-righteous in my convictions that I could not see how any person could possibly see the situation differently than I.  I have been so self-assured that victory was my right that, in a loss, I was convinced there were other factors at play, and therefore there was no wisdom to be gained from the experience other than "other people cheat".This attitude leads to anger and the view that the world is against you, which in turn leads to a self-fulfilling prophesy of future loss, anger and pain.

The reality is, outside of a few people (perhaps?), the world does not want to see you fail.  We know that everyone loves a humble winner and everyone loves a comeback story.   We pay money to be inspired by these stories - hero's born from struggle or unexpected loss.  From Rocky to the Avengers, we watch time and time again as people rise up from struggle, rise up from defeat, commit to a goal and overcome.  Key to all these successes and comebacks is an self-realization, an understanding that defeat comes from being alone and ignorant and victory comes from opening your mid to the wisdom and help of others.  The hero's we know learn from mistakes, seek out and then defer to the wisdom of others with experience, and focus on, and work towards, a single purpose.

Being aware of your own limitations is not easy.  Back in my school days I used to joke "the more unprepared I feel for an exam, the more prepared I am.".  It was the realization that knowing what I did not know - things that other people did know - put me at a disadvantage in the moment.  But the reality was if I knew 80% of the information, then I was a success.  Confronting a fear like this is not for everyone.  We fear what we don't understand.  We fear other languages, we fear other religions and cultures, other lands, because we know what we don't know.  Thankfully there are people that overcome those fears or we wouldn't be where we are today.

But overcoming fear does not make one perfect.  There are lots of fears.  Front of mind these days is the realization that overcoming the fear of exploration doesn't lead to not fearing an unknown language or culture.  We are at a point in history where we are accepting the mistakes of the past and having to repay that debt.  Just like a good movie, if we realize those mistakes, accept guidance and wisdom from those that have overcome the problem, there is an opportunity to come back better than ever.

The mistakes of the past do not have to define you, but your actions will.  Being open to new information allows your mind to grow, and like a chess master, see more possible options and reactions and outcomes for every decision.  It doesn't actually make life any easier or harder, it just makes every move seem easier and increases the likelihood of winning.  Like everything else we do, if we make it a habit of collecting information and wisdom, seeking out answers, that will become a natural reflex.  The brain, like any muscle adapting under the stress of repetition, will grow and become more adapted, more efficient, to achieving the goal that is happiness.

Now, more than ever, it is important to realize that mistakes of the past can be fixed.  If we simply open our eyes and our minds we can expand and grow as a person, and as a people.

#dollyparton #changemanagement #happiness