As the new year quickly approaches, I have found myself thinking about my triumphs and mistakes of the past year. It is always an interesting experience to look at your own life and make assessments on where things could have been done differently, but it is never fun to regret chances that were squandered. Looking over the past year I can honestly say that I am not dissatisfied with any of the decisions I made, however I can see areas in which more planning should have been taken into effect. The year 2015 was a year of “safety” for me, I really didn’t take as many risks as I usually do, and I found this year to be somewhat boring. I don’t necessarily think risks need to be taken to have excitement, but when things seem mundane they could represent a lack of planning. I know that most things in life cannot be planned, and that the plans of men often go awry, but when plans do go off without a hitch they usually don’t end up being boring. I have decided that while I know I can not control everything that comes my way, I will make a solid action plan for the major accomplishments I plan to see through in the year 2016. The year is nearly over and everything from the past is now firmly part of memory, the best and only thing anyone can do going forward is to make sure the mistakes of the past are not repeated and the plans of the future are well plotted out. I am eager to see the new things that 2016 will bring, hopefully my plans don’t falter and I won’t be seeing a repeat of the mistakes of yesterday in the story of tomorrow.
News travels very fast these days. Just yesterday, as I finished writing about the demise of former Jets linebacker IK Enemkpali due to a terrible mistake he made, I got word that he will already get his redemption in the NFL. Rex Ryan, the former coach of the Jets, and the man who was initially behind inviting Enemkpali into the league, has decided to sign him to his new team, the Buffalo Bills. This move by Rex Ryan is no surprise to me, as he is known to be a man of theatrics, but something Ryan said in his interview struck with me. When Ryan was asked about why he signed IK, he said, “He made a mistake…There’s no question about that. But instead of listening to this person, that person, or whatever, we had IK last year, a lot of us were around IK, and he was a good teammate. Simple as that.” The words of Rex Ryan and this situation as a whole are just reminders that a solid first impression, and a good reputation are key when it comes to getting anywhere in life. The fact that Enemkpali was known by Rex as a good teammate, is the driving force behind his redemption. IK was not the greatest of linebackers, and I would not say he was a “must have” player, but the fact that he worked hard and didn’t step on any toes while Rex was around has effectively saved his career. I am glad to see that second chances can come out of a foolish situation, and I hope to see Enemkpali on the field for every game his new team plays against the Jets. I dont condone the actions that lead to his dismissal, but I still believe that one mistake should not define the life of any person.
In life bad decisions seem to be an inevitability, while I personally can look back at many of my poor decisions and pinpoint where I went wrong, it is rare to find the flaws in a decision at the time it is being made. A couple of days ago I blogged about the poor decisions NFL players make during their time off and I specifically mentioned a player on my favorite team who made an extremely dangerous and foolish decision. Jason Pierre-Paul, a defensive lineman of the New York Giants, injured his hand while lighting fireworks this past weekend. Today it has come to light that the injury JPP suffered was way more serious than originally reported. Pierre-Paul’s hand injuries were substantial enough that they required the amputation of the index finger on his right hand. While I’m sure JPP never thought a little fun with fireworks would cost him a crucial part of one of his extremities, this will undoubtedly go down in his mind as the worst decision he has ever made, and a decision that quite possibly just cost him at least 60 million dollars. The funny thing about bad decisions is the fact that when we consciously make them, they usually don’t turn out that bad, what I mean is that if we know something is a foolish choice we seem to regret it the whole time. It is as if no matter what, we will always regret a bad decision, either during or after the fact. I know poor decisions are an inevitability, it is just a good idea to look at life from the point of view of the wise, and keep your choices on the smarter side.
Nothing ruins a good day like getting into a car accident. Today I got into a small fender bender, but since it was my first accident in all of my years of driving, it was pretty traumatic. I am glad nobody was hurt, and the damage was minimal, but just getting into an accident is very annoying. Dealing with insurance is one thing, but when you constantly run scenarios in your mind in which things could have turned out differently, it starts to really be a bother. I have blogged before about regret, and today was a real life example of how a small mistake can really effect your mood, even when you are not at fault. The part of a mistake or car accident that really nags is the thought that it could have been worst. I am thankful that there were no injuries, and that those terrible variables that could have lead to a more serious event where not in place, but I am still a bit upset over the situation. I guess the moral of the day is just to be thankful, any bad day could have always been worse. I will just have to learn from my mistakes, and be more careful while driving in the future.
We have all heard the common phrase “everybody makes mistakes.” The phrase lets us know mistakes will happen, but it can’t prepare us for our reaction to our own mistakes. Depending on the severity of a mistake, they can be quite haunting. A mistake made years ago can have an effect on the tasks of today. Mistakes often hinder the person who committed them most, they are the ones who have the ability to see where they went wrong, and the ones who have to replay the mistakes in their mind. Mistakes do not always have to be huge to affect everyday life. I think back to when I first started driving, I made so many small mistakes that could have been way worse than they turned out. I actually considered quitting driving all together, but I am thankful that I was able to get over my mistakes, overcome my fears, and get back to driving. It’s pretty astounding to consider how many things people deprave themselves of due to small mistakes. Mistakes are not meant to obstruct our growth, they are tools useful to our progression, and necessary for effective growth. I would never have learned anything in life if I had been mistake free. I have learned from my mistakes in school and in everyday life and I am grateful for the learning experience. The only way to deal with mistakes is to look at them as learning material, do not take pity on yourself for your mistakes, and don’t use them as a license to fail. When you use mistakes to propel yourself forward, you will find yourself making fewer mistakes.