Mistakes are a consequence of being human and constitute an essential element of trial and error learning. Some errors are more consequential than others; few are irredeemable. What is frustrating is the experience of making the same mistake repeatedly. this phenomenon is especially evident in the way that people choose others with whom to be intimate. Some has suggested that a second marriage represents the triumph of hope over experience. One might intuitively expect that the lessons learned in the first marriage would make the selection process for the second more informed. Alas, the failure rate in subsequent marriages exceeds even the 50% that characterizes our first youthful lunges into marriage. The sad fact is that most people have a low expectation of happiness. It is as if they have relegated the whole idea to the real of myth that, like Santa Claus or the tooth fairy, has been discredited by their life experience. They regard any lasting sense of joy as a romantic ideal profoundly the entertainment industry, of no more relevance to their own lives than million-dollar houses or private jets. This disillusionment is a major barrier to change, since people cannot be expected to take emotional risks in pursuit of goals they think impossible.
The most damaging lies that we tell ourselves involve promises. “Nothing is so beautiful as a promise, right after is is given.” The evanescent quality of New Years resolutions constitutes a cultural cliche. Good intentions are more that paving stones on the road to hell, they are distractions from the serious task of evaluation who we are and what we really want. If we spend our time imagining some ideal of beauty of self-improvement, it drains energy distracts our attention from serious and attainable objectives.
Most of us devote great amounts of time and energy to efforts to assert control over what happens to us in our uncertain progress through life. we are taught to pursue an elusive form of security,primarily through the acquisition of material goods and the meas to obtain them. There is a kind of track that we are put on early in life with the implicit suggestion that, if we “succeed,” we will be happy and secure. Control is a popular illusion closely related to the pursuit of perfection. We all now people who are perfectionistic. They tend to be demanding of themselves and those around them and to manifest an obsessive orderliness that ism in the end, alienating. They do not trust feelings and prefer to occupy themselves with things they can count.
Acquiring some understanding of why we do things is often prerequisite to change.