Messages To Awaken
Leadership Blog
Seminars and Lectures
Personal Coaching
Awaken The Enterprise
Suggested Reading
Contact Us

The Six Mistakes Of Man


  • The illusion that personal gain is made up of crushing others.

  • The tendency to worry about things that cannot be changed or corrected.

  • Insisting that a thing is impossible because we cannot accomplish it.

  • Refusing to set aside trivial preference.

  • Neglecting development and refinement of the mind, and not acquiring the habit of reading and study.

  • Attempting to compel others to live as we do.

I came across this list several months ago and was struck by how concise it was and accurate.  In reviewing these mistakes I must admit I have made them all at one time or another.  I would like to think that I learn from my mistakes but being human means being challenged throughout our lives, and often by the same things.

Take for example the second mistake outlined.  Just this past week I faced my internal demons about prior disappointments in business.  It took me a few days to realize that life goes forward and the present moment is all I have control over. Besides, those “disappointments” have led me in wonderful new directions.  This is a recurring challenge for me, but I’m working on it!

These six mistakes appear to have meaning on several levels.  They can apply to our work or school.  Maybe a few words might be changed, but the intent would still be the same.  Or maybe we can see how these same mistakes interfere with personal relationships like family or marriage, thus keeping us from a fulfilling experience.  Could these same mistakes be titled “Six Roadblocks To Awakening Your Soul” and become part of our spiritual journey?  I think they can which proves once again that our spiritual growth cannot be separated from our daily activities like work or school or building relationships.  On the surface our activities only seem less spiritual when we are not aware of the connectedness in all we do.

What makes this list all the more intriguing is the author.  Marcus Tullius Cicero who lived from 106 B.C. to 43 B.C compiled these mistakes.  He was a Roman statesman and considered Rome’s greatest orator and its most articulate philosopher.  The last years of Republican Rome are referred to as the Age of Cicero.  Considered a dissident in part due to his treatises, Cicero outlined the six mistakes of man as he saw them evidenced in ancient Rome.  Unfortunately, tolerance was not a virtue of rulers of the time, and Cicero was executed then his head and hands were displayed on the speaker’s platform at the Forum in Rome.

It is amazing to me that this list still has relevance over 2000 years later in a time far different from ancient Rome.  Although the surroundings have changed, the basic challenges humans face remain the same when it comes to matters of the soul.

With respect, acceptance, and love,

R.D. Olson


© R.D. Olson and Awaken The Soul, 2001-2016