Marco Bitran has been through many experiences over the last decade. M. Bitran has learned a lot from these experiences and wants to make sure that others are able to learn from these experiences as well. Life is not a linear process – it has ups and downs. One of the keys in life is admitting your errors, being honest and self-reflective, and getting back up. That is what Marco has been doing over the last many years. These are interesting lessons to pass along.
The U.S. educational system teaches us how to be smart, but is teaches us nothing about how to be “wise.” Wisdom is grossly under-taught in our scholastic system, whether it be in academic programs (like our undergrad universities) or even trade-oriented programs (e.g., a Law Degree). Here are things that we should be taught (some obvious – some less so). The most effective ways to teach these is through case studies of experiences.
1. Embrace the truth, especially hard truths. Lying is incredibly corrupting. Sometimes we lie to ourselves, sometimes we lie to others. Often times lies are “white lies.” Regardless, they corrupt. Worship the straight truth. Be honest to yourself about things. And be rigidly honest when you speak or write. Make sure your statements can stand alone as truths. Don’t worry about upsetting people with the truth. Of course be graceful, if possible, but in the end, nothing matters if you don’t adhere to the truth.
2. Don’t worry about being direct. We are often taught to be polite, and to always try to please people. This can be a recipe for disaster. Whether you please people is superficial. What matters is if whatever you are doing is correct. Did you do the right thing? Are you honest when no one is looking? Will you be there in time of need? It’s easy to be polite. It’s hard to be a rock-solid person, who always does the right thing regardless of context. We have an over-emphasis on politeness and superficially pleasing people in our society.
3. In school, our kids are taught that hard work translates directly to success. In the first 25 years of their lives they live in an artificially linear (single dimensional) and deterministic system. Work hard, you get good grades, etc. Life, however, is not deterministic. Life is a stochastic (probabilistic) system with many dimensions. Sometimes you work hard and try to do the right thing, but still fail. Teach your kids how to fail. In life, even if you work hard, there will be failures. There are many things you cannot control. To achieve success, you need to learn how to fail. – Marco Bitran
4. Teach yourself how to not worry about what you cannot control. This is very difficult – our subconscious self is programmed to have anxiety about uncertainty. Anxiety is great when you are running away from tigers, but really detrimental to making clear, sound decisions in the modern day world. Think of it as if you were a rock climber. You can only control what’s within your three feet. Do the best you can within those three feet, and things will work out. Don’t worry about things you cannot control. Worry and anxiety can make you your own worst enemy.
5. Learn how to lose battles … life is a long journey and you cannot succeed in it without losing how to lose gracefully. Learn from your failures, don’t get down about them, and always get up. What’s important is not that you failed, but whether you get up. Failures are inevitable and should be expected.
6. Your intentions are of course important, but in the end, what will matter is your actions. We may all be good people, but sometimes we can do bad things. In the end, you are judged by your actions alone.
7. Mistakes can be painful, but they can also allow you to rise to a better, happier and more meaningful place. This fact confounds how we are taught to think about life.