Learning from the Mistakes of Others

“He was happy because he was contented, and he was contented because he was happy.” This is one of the statements that struck me most in The Richest Man in Babylon. It still rings in my mind to date and in today’s article, it’s the basis I’ll use for challenging you towards living deliberately.

The man who desired wealth in the book, The Richest Man in Babylon had an okay life. He used to make chariots for the king and worked hard day and night for his family. He wished he could have more money to give a few more luxuries to his wife. While contemplating upon how he could make more money, he saw a childhood friend enter the city in a caravan loaded with merchandise. This childhood friend was already wealthy, traveling the world, respected in society and a key pillar to the economic success of the city. Though agemates and both working, the city merchant was succeeding with money while the chariot maker had to toil day and night to make ends meet.

Our friend, the chariot maker decided that he would go to his rich childhood friend to seek wisdom about making wealth. And he didn’t just go alone. He was accompanied by his other childhood friends sharing his economic predicament. The rich merchant was kind enough to teach them how to grow their wealth, and those who heeded his advice grew their wealth.

What the chariot maker did is a good example of what we mean when we we say, “Lead your life to reach your goals, live deliberately.” The chariot maker didn’t sit back lamenting over how fortunes were not in his favour despite working hard. Neither did he hate his agemate for being wealthier than him. Instead of practicing such acts of denial, the chariot maker sought wisdom over how to also grow wealth for himself. (You can read the book The Richest Man in Babylon to see if the chariot maker became wealthy or not).

Here lies today’s challenge towards living deliberately: someone started where you are and succeeded at the goal you wanted to achieve. If you could find and learn from such a person, you can get mentored on how to convert your goal in to a reality. Please note that am not referring to a person with a strong opinion on how to convert the goal to a reality. It needs to be someone winning at what you want to win at; someone who can guide you on how to succeed as well.

Only fools learn from their mistakes. A wise person learns from the mistakes of others. Therefore, lead your life to reach your goals; live deliberately.

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