The great Roman orator Cicero (106-43 B.C.) offered these “Six Mistakes of Man”–six habits of thinking that keep us a prisoner of ever-shrinking patterns. Who doesnít share some of these? Find out what mistakes you share, and without self-blame and judgment, gently fix them and move into a life of more meaning and love.
1. The illusion of personal gain. To begin with, the seesaw thinking that elevates personal gain as a result of crushing others betrays the infinite sense of things. It presumes that life and its resources are finite, that there isnít enough to go around, and therefore we can only secure our piece of the pie at the expense of others.
2. The tendency to worry. When we tend to worry about things beyond our control, which is common, we are struggling with the lack of faith in the stream of life. This can lead us to a negative self-centeredness that adheres to a false sense of responsibility for everything.
3. Insisting that things are impossible. Because we cannot accomplish something, to say that it is impossible is easier than to admit our own limitations. This sort of world-in-a-thimble thinking prohibits our ability to learn anything new. It prevents us from growing or being refreshed.
4. Trivial preferences. It is clear that one constricting view leads to another, and when we refuse to put down our trivial preferences, we make smallness and self-centeredness a way of life.
5. Neglecting the refinement of the mind. (And the heart.) This is a way to choose the unexamined life over a receptive, listening journey. It is a way to stay in hiding, to choose unconscious living over mindfulness, heartfulness, and awareness.
6. Compelling others. And finally, when attempting to compel others to believe and live as we do, we fall into the ever present trap of conviction.
Adapted from Facing the Lion, Being the Lion, by Mark Nepo (Conari Press, 2007). Copyright (c) 2007 by Mark Nepo. Reprinted by permission of Conari Press.
Adapted from Facing the Lion, Being the Lion, by Mark Nepo (Conari Press, 2007).