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What Two Comedians Can Teach Us About Suffering

Feeling a need to suffer for our mistakes isn't good for our health

Most of us need periodic reminders to be humble, more questioning and curious, and more open to other people’s ideas and thoughts. Another part of staying grounded is being aware of our mistakes and shortcomings.

As Box CEO Aaron Levie recently said:

We’re going to deal with a lot of challenges, and if we have people who are going to mask those challenges, or not be able to actually address them because they’re just over-confident or have too much ego, we can never succeed as a business, especially in any kind of rapidly changing environment. And frankly people just don’t like working with those kinds of people.

If you are self-questioning and introspective, you'll inevitably deal with guilt. But there are two types of guilt people tend to grapple with. One is when you’ve done something wrong or failed to live up to your commitments. These can be inadvertent mistakes, the result of impulsive decisions or borne from serious and willful actions that were wrong or hurtful. We have to own those errors, make amends and, especially, try to do better. Learning and growth is part of the cycle. Some of us are bad at this. Almost all of us, me included, can do better.

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