When I was in high school, I did something I am really ashamed about. To this day, I have trouble sharing the story.
My sophomore year, I stole a copy of my Latin II exam a few weeks before we were scheduled to take the test. It was the hardest class in school, and I was really worried about making it through.
I shared it with a few friends, but within days it had made its way around the whole class. It was only a matter of time before I got caught.
I was suspended. This meant I got a failing grade, which meant I had to go to summer school.
This wasn’t even the worst part. What stung for me most was being labeled as someone who steals and cheats.
I didn’t know how to tell my little brother Dave or older sister Ramesh, let alone face my classmates and teachers again.
I started convincing myself that my life was over (remember, this was high school).
I was lucky to have parents who knew me and knew that this lapse in judgement was not who I really was.
They reminded me that yes, I messed up, but this experience didn’t have to define me — if I was smart, it could help shape me.
I learned that we all make mistakes — moments when we stray from our personal moral code. When this happens, we can either spiral into shame and self-doubt, like I started to do all those years ago. Or, we can take responsibility for the error, try to understand where we went wrong, and consider what we could have done differently.
Reflecting on the moment allows you to grow from the mistake rather than define yourself by it. And if you are open to growing from bad experiences, you may end up in a better place than where you started.
P.S. I have made it a practice once a year to review my own personal values and method for staying on track. This month’s Integrity Guide is a great framework for doing that.
Begin your day feeling grounded and inspired.
A free 30-day email series where we share the most impactful stories and ideas that have helped us on our journey to live a more meaningful life.
✌️ Free. Unsubscribe anytime.
“I’m in the midst of big life transitions at the moment, chasing book deals, relocating, taking risks, carving out a life that feels honest, so your emails have been a perfectly timed source of inspiration and reassurance.” Jo in London, Great Britain
"Love the emails! They are a great reset or what I would call mindful chiropractic adjustment to approaching the day. Thank you!" Laurie in Albuquerque, New Mexico
"I love the emails. They give me a new perspective and things to think about and apply in my life." Monica in Johannesburg, South Africa
"It's food for the soul and sets my spiritual compass in the right direction." Farahdiva Samsul in Assam, India
"Absolutely LOVE the daily emails. One of the only email subscriptions I read daily. Keep them coming!!" Adriana in New York, New York
"The emails are thought-provoking and uplifting. A little pause from the crazy happenings of modern life. A quick chance to reflect, smile, and think about a life lived mindfully." Pharan in Queensland, Australia
"I have thoroughly enjoyed the Mindfully Mailed series. Daily I await this little nugget of goodness to hit my inbox each day." Tambria in Shreveport, Louisiana
Welcome to Holstee
Our monthly membership helps conscious people (like you!) live a more meaningful life through actionable guide, inspiring art, thought-provoking content and a like-minded community.BECOME A MEMBER →
This article is part of our series on the theme of Integrity.EXPLORE Integrity →
Distilled from our Manifesto, positive psychology, the science of mindfulness, and ancient philosophic studies we have identified twelve themes core to living both fully and mindfully. We mapped these twelve themes to each of the twelve months in a year. Together with our community we explore one each month.VIEW OUR THEMES →