Monday, April 17, 2006

Experience and The Mistake

"Experience is that marvelous thing that enables you to recognize a mistake when you make it again."

-- Franklin P. Jones

How many of us are learning from our mistakes? Do you spend time understanding and appreciating the bad decisions you have made in your life? We as a society have a tendency to celebrate our successes but quickly sweep the failures (aka bad ideas, decisions, concepts, business strategies, employment decisions, first dates, last dates, new friends, that phone call you made at 2am, that one last shot of jack at the end of the night, etc., etc.) underneath the rug only to pretend they never happened.

I submit, I make tons of mistakes. Hell I am human! There is nothing to be ashamed of when it comes to making mistakes. The only disservice is when you fail to learn from the mistakes you make.

Try time you make a mistake....take some time to evaluate it. I call it the post-mortem. I look at everything that lead me to make the mistake (or in my case stupid decision) in the first place and what other alternatives or options I might have had available but didn't see (or likely pay attention to). I actually sit down and focus on why I went the direction that I went and why it didn't work. I spend actual time looking at my failures and learning from them. I write things down and even map out the scenario.

May sound a bit lucid but it actually has made me a better decision maker in the long run. Seriously! I take the time to write it down and then I file it away for a rainy day. It will make great reading one day when I have had more successes than failures. By writing it down it doesn't let my mind play the trick of hide the smelly fish. Don't ask me what that means...I was striving for imagery!!! It serves to simply prove to myself that I am human and that I was smart enough to reevaluate and learn from the misstep.

What mistakes have you made already this year? Take a few moments and jot it down and have a little pow wow with yourself to review what happened, what should have happened and likely what needed to happen (like don't ever, ever tell your buddy to "go on ahead without me!"). Hopefully you will find it theraputic and educational at perhaps one day....waaaaaayyyyy down the line.....funny!

Ripple On!!!

Steve Harper

1 comment:

Asha said...

I could not agree with you more Steve! I have learned to embrace the mistakes that I have made. It gives us all an opportunity to remember we are human.And to not only be forgiving with ourselves but with others as well. I have found that some of those "terrible mistakes" have taught me alot, only because I have chosen to evaluate them. I have not written them down as you mentioned, but think I might try doing that this year and see how hard I can hopefully laugh by the end of the year! :) Thanks for sharing!