Excerpts - Mistakes (#10)
Excerpt from March 18, 1978 Workshop in D.C.*
(*Audience participation is in parentheses--notations in brackets have been added for clarification )
We join the tape when Dr. Bob says…….
How about some comment now. We'll just talk a while.
(I'm not sure how you categorize it; they might not be thoughts, but they're like memory jogs)
That's what an awful lot of thoughts are.
(I might have a random thought………..)
Just a little random thought floating through.
(The thought says, "It would be nice if I did this." The thought often says, "I should do this."
If I don't act on the thought, I always find down the road a little bit, that' it is something I should have done.)
It would have worked out nice; but you don't know whether you "should" have or "should not" have done it.. It would probably have been all right if you did so. Now, of course, [after the fact] you don't know if you had acted on it at that time what would have happened.
There's no way you and I can ever say we made a mistake; because you don't know what the outcome would have been if you had done something else. It's very easy to say, "I really goofed up." "I should have bought that stock." "I should have done that." That's only the A side [complaining, sticking up for rights, and blaming] and B side [pleasing, quoting authorities and trying to be different] having a little fun with us. [The A-side says it would be good to do one thing with a promise or threat attached. The B-side tells us to do something else with a different promise or threat attached; thereby creating a state of conflict within]
BUT DO YOU KNOW WHAT WOULD HAVE HAPPENED IF YOU HAD MADE ONE TURN DIFFERENT THAN YOU HAVE IN YOUR LIFE.
You may have been a basket case in a matter of seconds if you had turned right instead of left. If you had gone to some other city rather than the one you did, you don't know what would have happened. You might have been a millionaire, you might have been a basket case, or it may have turned out the same way. We don't know.
So can you tell me truthfully that you ever made a mistake?
I can look back and say "Oh, it would have been so much different had I done so and so; but do you really know that.
So let's not beat ourselves over the head that I should have acted on it.