Closing the Loop

I never heard someone saying that they don’t like to receive constructive feedback. But even if this was true, I do wonder how many people are prepared to a) receive it b) do something with it. I know how people react when I provide feedback. I can also see how the feedback impacted that person’s behaviour. What I can’t see is the mental exercise that goes from receiving the feedback to actually doing something with it. I have only witnessed my own mental process. It reminds of Descartes’s famous quote:

“I undertook to conquer myself rather than fortune, and to alter my desires rather than change the order of the world, and to accustom myself to believe that nothing is entirely in our power except our own thoughts.”

I have noticed throughout the years that my resistance to feedback has diminished. I am happy in the position I find myself in. I am receptive to whatever comes my way. But the “do something with it” process is frail. When I look at past post like this, this and this I see myself still doing some of these mistakes. I do not believe that repeating the same mistakes has much to teach. The only reasonable solution that I can think of, is to repeatedly read and reflect.

Most people can’t follow this approach because most people don’t journal. So having one’s thoughts on the paper is almost a mandatory requirement for reflection to take place. I never thought too much about the process of writing and its side-effects. As mundane as it might sound, I do it because I like it. But with time I came to appreciate the value of reading things I wrote years ago. It’s my tiny little time-machine. Where this feedback loop has failed me is that it requires me to read past mistakes on a regular basis.

Let’s close that loop.