Errors Are Better Than Confusion

We are linear not chaotic.  We need order to make things work. We plan because without a structure there is too much to process. It is easy to lose, or never have, focus. Contradictions and missed opportunities abound.

We plan and implement and that often fails. It is a normal condition. It is not a reason to stop. Take heart, failing works.

“Truth comes out of error more easily than out of confusion”

Francis Bacon

Francis died almost 400 years ago so I think it safe to say this a general experience of mankind.

Notice the “more easily” part.  No guarantees, just comparative advantage. Failure leads to truth because, based on observation and experience, it narrows the field of what can be true. Confusion adds nothing.

Planning and the inevitable errors help create order and it can show areas worth exploring. 

If you do nothing, you will remain in confusion. More likely a confusion that grows more complex over time.  New things come around and old ideas still remain. There is no process to cull the bad and keep the good.

Deciding and trying is the tool that culls.  If you cannot tolerate error, no culling is possible. Learn early that mistakes are your friends. Make more. Learn from them. Avoid them in future.

A better way exists. Learn from other people’s mistakes. Understand the context within which they made them and when that context is like yours, avoid them. Other people’s experience is cheap experience.

Learning is the process that lets us discover the mistakes of others. Education could work, but traditional public education is fast becoming useless. 

People need to learn how to assess events and ideas. They need to understand how the context influenced their happening. They must learn how to compare that context to their own. They should assess how the context and the possible events have changed or are changing. Only then is it possible to arrive at a conclusion about meaning.

Meaning is the fundamental characteristic of critical thinking. Meaning is what makes our lives easier. Meaning matters most. Successful plans rely on meaning. 

Only a fool learns exclusively from his own experience. Learn from others whenever possible, but be sure you discover the right meaning.

Don Shaughnessy arranges life insurance for people who understand the value of a life insured estate. He can be reached at The Protectors Group, a large insurance, employee benefits, and investment agency in Peterborough, Ontario.  In previous careers, he has been a partner in a large international public accounting firm, CEO of a software start-up, a partner in an energy management system importer, and briefly in the restaurant business.

Please be in touch if I can help you.  866-285-7772

4 Comments on “Errors Are Better Than Confusion

  1. Your posts are almost always good. Some days your posts are bell ringers for me. Today I am deafened by the bell.

  2. Hey Don, because I have had the pleasure of knowing you quite well, I can hear you speaking when I read what you write. I always feel like we are in constant touch with each other. Doing anything to monetize your efforts?

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