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The Minimalists

Joshua Fields Millburn & Ryan Nicodemus write about living a meaningful life with less stuff for 4 million readers. As featured on: ABC, CBS, NBC, BBC, TODAY, NPR, TIME, Forbes, The Atlantic, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and National Post. They live in Missoula, Montana.

Course Correction

Wright Brothers' plane

Pencils have erasers for a reason. Everyone makes mistakes; everyone makes bad decisions. (N.B. there’s a big difference between the two—mistakes and bad decisions.)

To err is human. Therefore one of the most important skills we can develop is course correction. It’s direly important to understand when a mistake is a mistake, to learn from our indiscretions, to change course and move forward a better person.

Life is a test. And but sometimes we pick the wrong answer. No big deal, right? Well, unfortunately we often pick the same wrong answer over and over, avoiding any other possible outcome, and therefore avoiding the correct answer. It’s strange, we wouldn’t’ve done this with our old schoolroom tests. We never penciled in the answer-[c] bubble on our Scantron sheet just to erase it and fill in the same bubble again and again and again…

But in real life we do this all the time. We mess up and then take the same path, which leads to the same failure. And then we do it again. And again. And again. Lather, rinse, repeat.

To make things more complicated, life’s answers change as we get older. Ergo, yesterday’s right answer may not be today’s right answer.

Thus, to live an enriched, fulfilled life, one must hone his ability to course correct. If you can intelligently assess where you are, where you’re headed, and make the necessary tweaks to move forward, then you’ll be just fine. But if you keep filling in that [c] bubble, you’re in for a world of hurt.