Posted on 04-29-2011
If during a missile's course, it moves too far to the left, it corrects by steering right. If the missile overcompensates by turning too far right, it makes another correction. For 99% of the journey, it's a constant zig-zag with barely any time spent perfectly aimed in the right direction.
As a dentist, you may take too long to bill a patient and have trouble collecting. Then for the next patient, you might push too hard for payment but wreck the relationship so he chooses another dentist. These are not failures, but merely mistakes that help calibrate your internal guidance system to get you to your goal.
An advantage the missile has over people like us is that there's no point where the missile makes a mistake and then beats itself up over the error. If a missile functioned like we do, it would drop to the ground and forget about the goal after the first two or three zig-zags. This is why movie characters like the Terminator and the sociopath stalker from "No Country for Old Men" are so chilling in their effectiveness.
However, there's no need to build a wall around your heart in order to swiftly reach your goals. You just have to make a commitment to embrace your mistakes as feedback instead of punish yourself for them. The mistakes are necessary for your internal success mechanism to get to the right direction towards your goal. You don't even need to analyze and interpret your mistakes. Just acknowledge them and move on.
In the acclaimed book "Psycho-Cybernetics," Maxwell Maltz introduces the concept of seeing your subconscious mind like a guided missile. Just like a missile locks on a target, your subconscious success mechanism is given a goal and continuously makes corrections to achieve it.