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Embrace Your Mistakes

Date - 15 August 2016/ Category - Personal Lessons
Personal lessons

We’re taught that all mistakes are bad and should be avoided at all costs. Mistakes lose sales and cost companies profit.

We might be bad at our job, plain lazy or simply thick but either way making a mistake is most definitely a bad thing and we’re told to avoid it at all costs.

This is a lie; not all mistakes are bad. In fact some mistakes are necessary in order to succeed and should be embraced whole heartedly.

There’s also the misconception that as responsibility and qualification go up then the propensity to make mistakes goes down.

Take for example a CEO or a doctor. We assume because they have been around the block that they make less mistakes but this isn’t true.

Being a CEO means you have to take risks with money; being a doctor means you have to take risks with people’s lives. Although risks are not taken lightly, and are often done with good reason, mistakes do happen.

In my journey I’ve learnt that the world is seldom black or white, it’s made up of various shades of grey and if you’re going to succeed in the grey space then mistakes need to me made

As much as we’re told it is, life isn’t a straight line, it’s a series of crossroads, and one mistake will not put an end to your journey. There’s no tom tom to navigate your way around these crossroad and while some books or education might help you get through some, the rest you’re going to have to learn by taking chances.

You’ll take some wrong turns, and you’ll make some right ones. As your knowledge grows then you’ll make less mistakes, but right up until the point you die you’ll make one or two.

The important thing when judging a mistake is to recognise when a mistake was made with good intentions and when they were genuinely the result of being lazy or stupid.

Mistakes made by someone being lazy should not be celebrated but those made because someone was trying hard and it went wrong or because they took a reasoned risk should.

You see when being creative, there is always the risk of failure, but every failure leaves one less option the next time you come across a cross road.

When things go wrong we often get hung up on the mistake itself, but this is the wrong thing to do.

It’s much more important how you react to a mistake, rather than how the actual mistake itself came about.

If you can react to a mistake and rectify it then you can move forward.

Getting it right first time simply skips this step and makes learning faster, but often you’ll have to fail at least once to figure out the right path to take and once you do then you need to bank that information for the future.

As you learn and adapt you can make less mistakes and cross apply lessons.

Yet there are people who don’t learn from their mistakes; they take failure or success as it comes and simply point to “experience” not outcomes as proof of their own capability.

The world values experience when all experience is, is the opportunity to fail or succeed.

Experience is the opportunity to learn, but it does not guarantee that you have learnt from the event.

As a result you get this odd situation where someone with a small amount of experience can accumulate more wisdom than someone with vast amount of experience that never learnt anything.

On paper the more experienced of the two is much more employable, but for you they are not.

When recruiting your team it’s important you learn to differentiate between someone’s experience and what they learnt from it.

If you can find the ones that learnt something then you’re onto a winner.

Chapter Summary:

• Mistakes can be good
• How you react to mistakes is important
• Experiences is not the same as wisdom

Read our next blog post “You are your best asset”.