The greatest mistake you can make in life is to be continually fearing you will make one.
If you are like I am you have made more mistakes in your life than you can count. In my case there are many I have been glad I made since it was the result of testing a new idea or trying a new technique. As is often been said the best way never to make a mistake is to never do anything. The good news is that often reviewing the mistake has resulted in laying the foundation for something else that did work. I was always glad to admit my mistakes for there is absolutely no value in denying error, plus it is fun to disarm the critics when you agree with them.
Now if the truth be known I also have made hundreds that I regret. Errors in judgment, putting my interests ahead of someone else’s, and more often than not being insensitive to the needs of others are all behaviors that I regret. I like to believe that I did more good than bad but that is water under the bridge. Unfortunately it took longer than I would have liked to outgrow some of my bad habits but I did learn from them all. These days I don’t avoid risk, I still make mistakes, I deal with them when I do and I move on. I am glad that I have learned not to let them stop me in my tracks or slowdown.
So make mistakes, they are part of life, learn from them and move on. Here is an edited article I saved that might help if you let your mistakes get you down.
How To Learn From Your Mistakes
By Elizabeth Scott, M.S.
One of the best ways to relieve stress is to learn from your mistakes. Unfortunately, it’s difficult to find the balance between seeing too many things as someone else’s fault and seeing too many things as your fault. And in both cases, rumination can take root and cause too much stress. But how can you learn from your mistakes if you don’t realize when you’ve made one? When you’re trying to learn from your mistakes, consider the following:
Reframe Your Mistakes − First, use reframing to stop thinking of your mistakes as failures. They can be more accurately described as opportunities for learning—people generally learn more from mistakes than they learn from successes.
Be Forgiving Next, maintain perspective and don’t take mistakes too seriously. Blaming others for our mistakes can be a defense mechanism for those who are harsh with ourselves when we mess up—we stay in denial because we can’t take our own harsh self-condemnation. Be forgiving. Just changing your outlook on this can make it less threatening to recognize when you’re responsible or partially responsible for things going other than you’d planned.
See What You Can Change − Rather than thinking of who is more responsible for a situation—you or another person—look at the situation as a whole in terms of what you can change. If you view taking responsibility through the lens of personal control—what can you change next time, what do you have control over?—makes it an empowering experience to learn from your mistakes.
Look Beyond − Look at other sides of the same situation. How do different people in the situation feel. How might things have gone differently if you’d made different choices? Look at the situation in different ways. Play with it. And see what you can learn for next time.
Ask Questions − Ask for impartial opinions. Have a few trusted friends who will tell you the truth, and who can see things from both sides, and ask them what they see. Sometimes we’re too close to a situation to make sense of it at first, but an observer who isn’t so emotionally attached, and who can deliver their opinion with love and tact, is what we need to help us learn from our mistakes.
Pat Yourself On The Back − Congratulate yourself for whatever growth you’ve gained from dealing with each difficult situation you encounter and each mistake you make. Remember that these things add value to life as much as the more pleasant experiences we all value. And be glad that you always have the opportunity to learn from your mistakes in one way or another.
Assert your right to make a few mistakes. If people can’t accept your imperfections, that’s their fault.
Dr. David M. Burns
The following reminds me of when, as an adult I was initiated into the Boy Scouts of America’s Order of the Arrow. I was left in the woods alone, with a blanket and two matches; I never got past step 7.
Sixteen Steps to Build a Campfire
1. Split dead limb into fragments and shave one fragment into slivers.
2. Bandage left thumb.
3. Chop other fragments into smaller fragments
4. Bandage left foot.
5. Make structure of slivers (include those embedded in hand)
6. Light Match
7. Light Match
8. Repeat “a Scout is cheerful” and light match.
9. Apply match to slivers, add wood fragments, and blow gently into base of fire.
10. Apply burn ointment to nose.
11. When fire is burning, collect more wood.
12. Upon discovering that fire has gone out while out searching for more wood, soak wood from can labeled “kerosene.”
13. Treat face and arms for second-degree burns.
14. Relabel can to read “gasoline.”
15. When fire is burning well, add all remaining firewood.
16. When thunder storm has passed, repeat steps.
“Every day is a good day to be alive, whether the sun’s shining or not.”
The young lady walked over to the room where she knew her friend was. “May I see Irving, please?” she asked the woman blocking the door.
“We don’t allow anyone but relatives to see the patients,” replied the woman. “Are you a member of the family?”
“Why-er-why, yes. I’m his sister,” said the lady.
“Oh, I’m so glad to meet you,” said the woman. “I’m his mother!”
“You grow up the day you have your first real laugh at yourself.”
Two women that are dog owners are arguing about which dog is smarter.
First woman, “My dog is so smart, every morning he waits for the paper boy to come around and then he takes the newspaper and brings it to me.”
Second woman, “I know.” First woman,
“How?” Second woman, “My dog told me.”
A life spent making mistakes is not only more honorable, but more useful than a life spent doing nothing.
George Bernard Shaw
Stay well, do good work, and have fun.
Management is not responsible for duplicates from previous dailies. The editor is somewhat senile.
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