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  • Feras Kurdi

Normalize and think again

In the wake of that failed choice in life, you find the most important of lessons about yourself as those hard times reveal the most crucial defining moments of your true values and character.


In the wake of that failed choice in life, you find the most important of lessons about yourself as those hard times reveal the most crucial defining moments of your true values and character. Looking back at your mistakes or traumatic experiences is seen generally as regret or sorrow and a waste of time. But it is not. Looking back from the right distance, using the right amount of analysis, and meditation reveals lessons about yourself and the choices you have made. The real problem is in the emotional trap that gets the best of you when reflecting on the past. What really defines you is your ability to capitalize on failures; your ability to reinforce rules of life while keeping an open mind to taking new risks in life.

Reflecting on your past experiences is an art. The better you do it, the faster becomes your learning curve. Because learning by experience is learning that stays with you and you keep building on it and fine-tuning it even if you don’t realize it yet. But that’s how our brains work. Our brains build scatter plots from life experiences and constantly try to find that “normal” curve or linear relationship, and the more linear the better. It is a subconscious process that prevails over time no matter how self-conscious and objective we try to be. Ultimately, everyone finds their own stereotypes that they use to go by life more efficiently. The more result-oriented we are, the more we find those stereotypes pretty useful. We tend to engage a world that fits our curves because we actually use those curves to choose our friends, spouse, bosses, and colleagues. What happens then is that the new experience will only prove that linear equation right, again and again.

Applying the same concept to human relationships, for example. Those of us who are consistently taking new risks in getting closer to people that don’t seem to fit the curve or the stereotype, eliminating that prejudice, willing to give the world a chance, and hope that they will understand one day what life is all about. Those are the progressive minds that will always catch new outliers and expand their standard deviation because the world has far more variety than we can simply normalize in a lifetime of normal experience.

Keep up that curiosity and keep trying to discover the world all you can. It is the outlier we often ignore that could very well be our next exit to happiness.

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