Have you ever said: “I can’t believe I just did that! That isn’t what I meant to do!” Well, you’re not alone. Everyone will say or do something that is wrong from time to time. Sometimes we get our values mixed-up, or we are swayed by negative influences. We sometimes react impulsively and suddenly, we surprise ourselves, regretting the spur-of-the-moment decision that we have made without a set plan. Impulsive means to act on emotions without careful consideration of the consequences of your actions.
Keep in mind that every action, even the ones that are unintentional, starts with a thought. If you have decided in advance what is right and wrong, you can avoid acting impulsively by being always aware of the direction of your thoughts.
If your thoughts race in and out of your head so fast that you couldn’t tell someone what you were thinking just a minute ago, then it is time to start noticing what your thoughts are. Sometimes keeping a record of your thoughts can help you become more aware of what you think about. During the course of the day, simply write your thoughts down. Ask yourself is this something I want to have in my mind? Will these thoughts help to build and maintain my character or can they lead to choices that could result in making serious mistakes? Try to be aware of your thoughts; this will reduce opportunities to act impulsively.
Setting your mind and being prepared in advance to make right choices will help to keep mistakes to a minimum and will keep you from regretful situations. Making mistakes does not mean giving up on maintaining a positive character. On the contrary, making mistakes from time to time will occur as you mature. With the right attitude, you can use your mistakes to help you mature and maintain a moral character…but only if you learn from them and avoid making the same mistake twice.
In order to learn from your mistakes acknowledge that you made a mistake. Trying to justify a wrong by not being truthful with yourself and others will prevent you from taking steps for improvements. Use character to maintain character. If you did something that was irresponsible, then be honest with yourself, admit it and plan to never make that mistake again. In other words, you will always have positive character traits to draw from. Ask yourself, “What should I learn from this?” Change your attitude about making mistakes. Instead, consider them as lessons to be learned. Once you have learned them, just think about how much smarter you will be. Don’t put yourself down or call yourself names when you make a mistake. This will only lead to feeling bad about yourself, and a negative attitude may leave you susceptible to negative influences.
Even if you have made mistakes in your past that you now regret, it is not too late to change and turn your life around. Prepare so you will never make that same mistake again. Remember, where there is determination, there is hope. So if you were not taught the value of obtaining a positive moral character and you have been negatively influenced, you can learn from your mistakes. Set your mind in advance right now to stand up and make choices that will build a positive moral character. Also, be determined not to repeat past mistakes. Instead, focus on maintaining your positive character traits.
Do the best you can to avoid making mistakes by setting your mind in advance and being prepared to handle curveballs and pitfalls. But if you do make a mistake, don’t give up on maintaining your positive character. Give yourself room to grow and consider them as lessons learned.