calm mind, healthy body, happy life

Making mistakes? Bring it on!

“An expert is a man who has made all the mistakes, which can be made, in a very narrow field.” – Quantum physicist Niels Bohr.

Niels Bohr’s quote really fits with the question of why we ‘hold’ on so much mentally, physically and emotionally. This tendency is largely due to our fear of failure or not achieving expectations. We therefore try to mentally control the uncontrollable, change the past, predict the future or simply avoid any action at all in order to avoid failure, ultimately leading to tension and dissatisfaction. We perceive making mistakes or failing to be highly undesirable and to be avoided at all costs.

What if we, like Niels Bohr and others, turn this way of thinking on it’s head. He is actually saying making mistakes can be a positive process or in other words; ‘feel the fear and do it anyway’ in the knowledge that by making mistakes we will learn and progress, potentially towards becoming experts!  Does this mean that we can let go of holding on and relax and still be happy and achieve?

In our Halcyon Yoga classes, we practice ‘giving it our best shot’ and explore the physical and mental effects of letting go of any unnecessary effort including the need to predict or perfect desired outcomes. By investigating and accepting what we actually experience/feel through our bodies, we have the best chance of relieving mental and embodied tension and realising our full potential. Making mistakes? Bring it on!

(Neils Bohr – physicist. Born 1885, Copenhagen, Denmark. Died 1962, Copenhagen, Denmark. Quantum physicist Niels Bohr was one of the major figures in the early development of quantum physics, having laid the groundwork for the basic understanding of the atomic structure (i.e. the Bohr model of the atom). He received a Nobel Prize for this work in 1922, just a year after Albert Einstein received his.)


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