OVER 2,000 years ago, Roman philosopher and statesman Cicero noted what he considered the six mistakes of mankind.

Now, here's a look at the six mistakes through the eyes of a trainer:

1. The delusion that personal gain is made by crushing others.

In almost all business endeavours, the more people operate as a team, the more they can accomplish.

You personally gain more from raising others up rather than putting them down. Crushing others means reducing their enthusiasm, their confidence and their overall ability to contribute. Raising them up increases their worth and yours.

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

Stress is the by-product of worry. There are many things you should be concerned about, but few you should worry about.

While working on a proposal, you should consider it from all angles. Plan and practise the presentation, prepare your materials and ask questions about its viability.

After the proposal has been made, however, there is nothing you can do. Nothing can change the outcome. Worry is useless and fruitless. Let it go.

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

Time changes everything. Who knows what you might find out next week...tomorrow...or when you turn the next corner.

The impossibles of yesterday are commonplace today. You should never look at anything as impossible.

4. Refusing to set aside trivial preference.

Often, people fool themselves into thinking that the way that they do things is the right way, when what it usually comes down to is simply preference.

And sometimes that preference is really trivial - such as the way you put your shoes and socks on, the way you install a roll of toilet paper and the way you hire a new employee.

There is nothing wrong with preferences, but you should study your choices and make sure there is nothing trivial about your decisions.

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

I like avid readers. Those people will read the contents printed on the ketchup bottle at a restaurant.

There are always new ideas and new solutions to old problems, but they can be missed unless you are constantly looking, reading and studying.

Personally, I like to read three or four newspapers every day. I even like to read old news magazines in the doctor's waiting room. Reading is brainstorming. Even a comic book can bring enlightenment.

6. Attempting to compel others to believe and live as we do.

Our workforce and consumer base is becoming more diverse, yet there are people who would deny that diversity.

You can't make everyone believe and live as you do. And even if you could, wouldn't that be boring?

Diversity brings more ideas and more experiences. We should celebrate the differences, not try to obliterate them.

Everyone is guilty of making the six mistakes of mankind at some time or other. We just need to learn from our mistakes every 2,000 years or so.