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How to Quit Making Mistakes!
Plain Truth Magazine
July-August 1983
Volume: Vol 48, No.7
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How to Quit Making Mistakes!
Roderick C Meredith   
Church of God

Born: June 21, 1930
Member Since: 1949
Ambassador College: 1952
Ordained: December 20, 1952
Office: Evangelist

What is the secret of overcoming personal problems and job failures?

   OH, I WISH, I wish I hadn't made that awful mistake!" the young woman cried out to herself.
   But she had, just the same as — usual.
   And as she watched her husband angrily slam the car door, roar out of the driveway and disappear down the street, — she felt a great emptiness sweep over her. Their little home no longer seemed like a castle. It seemed like a tomb.
   Strangely, the thing she had been so upset about with her husband no longer seemed important. In the melancholy silence of the empty house, she couldn't care less.
   As she slumped dejectedly in a chair in the middle of the room, she began to realize deeply that it was her husband she wanted — not a new vacuum cleaner he said they couldn't afford.
   Why did she always pick at him when he came home at night? Why did she always have to say the wrong thing to her husband — words she deeply regretted later?
   And why did he have to react the way he did?

Find the CAUSE of Your Problem

   Nearly all of us in the industrialized world have modern houses, cars, radios, television sets, nice clothes, ample diets. Yet, like the young couple pictured above, we all too often have giant frustrations, moods, family problems, health problems, job problems.
   With physical comforts and wealth that the underprivileged three fourths of this earth's population only dream about, most people in the developed world still have deep problems, frustration and a sense of emptiness.
   Precisely because we are often "sorry" — like the young wife described above — yet unwilling to quit making the mistakes that bring on these troubles!
   A young wife, like the one pictured earlier who upset her husband, will usually try to "solve" the problem by saying she is sorry, fixing his favorite dish that night or some other temporary expedient. Even this, of course, is far more than many would do!
   But it is not nearly enough.
   Why? Because it only smooths over the one upset. It does not get at and solve the basic CAUSE of the continual fights and arguments that plague so many families today.
   The offending spouse should sit down and carefully ask himself or herself how he or she manages to start so many arguments. And what is the basic CAUSE of the problem? Is it vanity or selfishness? Is it lack of control of temper or tongue? Is it caused by wrong emotional responses aggravated by poor health, alcoholism or some deep underlying personal problem that has not been discussed with the spouse or is not otherwise being tackled?
   Just what is the real CAUSE?
   The same need to get at the cause of problems applies to everyone — men and women alike — in job frustrations, social problems and other areas of life.
   If, for instance, you have serious problems in your job or profession, be sure you find the real CAUSE, not some imaginary scapegoat. Ask yourself questions.
   How did I happen into this line of work, anyhow? Did I purposefully go into it because it interested me and offered a personal challenge to grow and accomplish completely apart from pay or financial considerations? Do I actually have the natural talent, skills and abilities that should normally make me a success in this type of occupation?
   If not, then perhaps you are the proverbial square peg in a round hole. Or maybe you have allowed some other side interest to take too much of your time and attention from being a real success at your chosen occupation. Or are you allowing health problems, drinking problems or personal frustrations of some sort to upset you in a job where normally you should be happy and successful?

Admit YOUR Part of the Problem

   In finding the real cause of your problem, be honest! Don't kid yourself!
   Follow the example of the late Bernard Baruch, multimillionaire, financier and counselor of U.S. presidents. After describing a setback on the stock market, Mr. Baruch stated: "In such circumstances some men grow desperate. I grew cautious. I began a habit I was never to forsake — of analyzing my losses to determine where I had made my mistakes. This was a practice I was to develop ever more systematically .... I never sought to excuse myself but was concerned solely with guarding against a repetition of the same error."
   Good advice!
   In finding, admitting and correcting our mistakes, how many of us never seek to excuse ourselves, but are concerned "solely" with guarding against a repetition of the same error — determined that we shall NOT continue making that mistake?
   Other people may have their part in the problems you face. But, like Mr. Baruch, you need first of all to find and correct YOUR mistakes that contribute to these problems. Face up to these mistakes you have been making. Admit them to yourself. Determine to quit making them.
   When you have learned to do just this much, then more than half the battle is won!

Learn the Laws of Success

   Apart from seeking out and admitting particular mistakes, you need to learn the LAWS of life, health and success. These will enable you to avoid mistakes before they occur to recognize a potential problem on the horizon and bypass it without having to suffer first!
   The first law of success is to set the right goal! In finding the right job or profession as a part of that goal, evaluate carefully the real likes, dislikes and the particular abilities and skills you have been given.
   Again, don't kid yourself. For even though you might like the financial rewards or prestige of some occupations, you would in all likelihood be frustrated and miserable in them if you didn't enjoy the day-by-day routine they involve. And you will undoubtedly enjoy and be able to put your heart into a job more easily if it is in a field where you excel and are naturally competent because of your inherent talents and abilities.
   Among the other laws of success are the need to obtain a proper education; the importance of building radiant health; the need for putting drive into all you do; the vital matter of exercising resourcefulness; and then persevering to the end.
   The Creator has set definite laws of success in motion that we ignore only to our own hurt. You need not only to learn but to LIVE BY these laws if you wish to be successful and happy. You also need to come to the realization that all true laws of life, which any of us may discover, are based upon and are simply magnifications of the great spiritual law of God as expressed in the Ten Commandments.
   The Ten Commandments set forth the basis of the true way of life intended by Almighty God to bring man blessing, happiness and health. To quit making mistakes, you need most of all to study and live by this law. King David of Israel realized this and said, "0 how love I thy law! it is my meditation all the day" (Ps. 119:97).
   Use your mind! Examine your mistakes and problems in the light of the Ten Commandments and see where you have been wrong. Ask God for the strength and courage to acknowledge your mistakes — to REPENT of — your errors!
   To help you understand how to apply the Ten Commandments to your daily life, read the booklet entitled The Ten Commandments. It will help you to see how God's laws are living laws, just like the law of gravity. It will enable you to see the principle of God's law as applied to any given situation.

Practice Self-discipline

   A truly successful man is one who learns to do the things he doesn't at first like to do. Although you should choose your occupation in a field where you excel, there are certain facets of almost any job that may be disagreeable. To be successful, learn to set yourself to perform unpleasant chores with vigor!
   Also, you must learn to discipline your tongue, your thoughts, actions and appetites. You may have a tendency to say too much and therefore constantly strain relations with your boss, your husband or your wife. Or to overindulge in alcoholic beverages to the extreme detriment of job, family and friendships. To be successful and stay successful you must RULE over your appetites, emotions and words or they WILL RULE OVER YOU!
   Notice God's instruction: "He that is slow to anger is better than the mighty; and he that ruleth his spirit [thoughts and emotions] than he that taketh a city" (Prov. 16:32).
   Note this warning regarding careless speech: "He that keepeth his mouth keepeth his life: but he that openeth wide his lips shall have destruction" (Prov. 13:3). Whether with your mate, your friends or on the job, learn to think before you speak!
   If you tend to be lazy or sluggish, again you must discipline yourself to get up, to get going and to accomplish! This is not easy, but once you set the HABIT of hard work and accomplishment, things will begin to come your way. "The hand of the diligent shall bear rule: but the slothful shall be under tribute" (Prov. 12:24).

Your Wholehearted ACTION Required

   To really quit making constant mistakes and to become a success, you will have to fervently desire true success. Just thinking about it isn't good enough. You must be willing to pay the price of success. It is worth it!
   First, you need to find the real CAUSE of your problems or mistakes. Don't spend all your time and effort coming up with a temporary solution that only alleviates the result of your mistake. Get at the CAUSE and thereby avoid future mistakes of the same nature.
   Second, learn to ADMIT and go to work on your mistakes. Follow Bernard Baruch's example of seeking to determine where you have made your mistakes — never seeking to excuse yourself but guarding solely against a repetition of the same error.
   Third, learn and practice the laws of life, health and success. Read our inspiring free booklets, The Seven Laws Of Success, How to End Your Financial Worries and The Ten Commandments, and put them to work in your life!
   Fourth, begin to discipline your emotions, words and actions with God's help.
   Fifth, be wholehearted in fervently desiring to overcome your mistakes.
   God says, "Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might" (Eccl. 9:10).
   In dealing with your personal mistakes and problems, if you will learn to find the real cause — and then follow through with the above steps — you will surely find success. In overcoming your mistakes and yourself, you will have a deep sense of accomplishment and a growing realization that this process is also leading you far down the road to fulfilling the very purpose of human existence!

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Plain Truth MagazineJuly-August 1983Vol 48, No.7
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