There are two times you commit a mistake:
- When you’re doing something for the first time.
- When you’re doing something for the twenty-first time.
You can attribute mistakes from the former to so many causes – one of them being a first-timer.
But what about the latter? Why did that happen? Where did you go wrong?
When you go back and review where you’ve gone wrong – you’re stunned. It seems silly. “That was so simple. How could I have not seen that.” But you’ve done it, and now you’re baulking at it.
You committed the error because you knew how to do something perfectly well. You were comfortable doing it. This happens when we develop the feeling of – “Yes, I’ve arrived”. It is also precisely when we take wrong decisions and falter. Why?
I’ve seen it to be because of the ego. The ego thrives in comfort.
I’ve also discovered a simple cure – “Be curious” a.k.a “Ask questions“.
When you are curious, you are keen to learn.
You’re asking questions.
You are sceptical about things.
You’re cautious. You are aware of what you’re doing.
As an infant does, you are inquisitive. Always inquiring. Leaving no place for “Ego” to sprout.
The approach to question everything will never make you feel like you’ve arrived at an answer. Consequently, there is no place for the ego to take root, fester, and grow. Always keep your mind open to learning, which in turn will keep the ego at bay. Also, there’s this amazing fact – “YOU CAN’T KNOW EVERYTHING!!”. For the entirety of your life, you can continue to learn and ward off the ego. Ask, learn, repeat.
There are so many questions that plague me every day. It serves as a constant reminder that there is a lot to learn, unlearn, and relearn. This constant dialogue hammers the ego. Questions are like the Ring Master’s whip. Crack the whip often and tame the ego. A question “?” is also shaped like a whip! (-;
Also, asking questions doesn’t always lead to answers. In most cases, you end up with a few more questions. The initial questions are superficial. The questions that follow, however, penetrate deeper towards fundamental ones. They are concerned with the nature of existence, awareness, and death. The paradox is – the deeper you go, the simpler the questions, but the answers not so much. When you start clawing away into these depths, you will find questions that you cannot answer, and your ego ultimately falls apart.
Simply put – Questions dissolve your ego. Where do Questions arise? In curiosity.