One step back and two steps forward is greater progress than two steps forward.
What type of mindset gets back on the horse?
I heard this while listening to Megan McArdle’s The Up Side of Down: Why failing well is the key to success. But in that book, she cites the eager student asking the sage about the secret of success whereas below, it’s about happiness. But upon reflection, it doesn’t matter: it seems to be the secret of anything worthwhile.
One step back and two steps forward is greater progress than two steps forward. — Bradley Charbonneau*
From The Beggar King and the Secret of Happiness by Joel Ben Izzy.
The Secret of Happiness
Nasrudin is known as much for his wisdom as his foolishness, and many are those who have sought out his teaching.
One devotee tracked him down for many years before finding him in the marketplace sitting atop a pile of banana peels–no one knows why.
“Oh great sage, Nasrudin,” said the eager student. “I must ask you a very important question, the answer to which we all seek: What is the secret to attaining happiness?”
Nasrudin thought for a time, then responded. “The secret of happiness is good judgment.”
“Ah,” said the student. “But how do we attain good judgement?”
“From experience,” answered Nasrudin.
“Yes,” said the student. “But how do we attain experience?”
It doesn’t seem logical, but the secret is right in front of us. Or rather, behind us. Do we need to move backward first?
* Feeling a little self conscious giving myself credit for a quote, but I actually quite like it and I’m going to stand by it. I haven’t checked, but I’m sure there are quotes like it out there.