Yup. I made you think did I? It spells Mistake. If you say it aloud, it might be easier. I thought it was an engaging way to get you all interested!
A few weeks ago, I had a guest blogger post on Your Life Solutions. It was about the very same subject I am going to write about today. Mistakes.
Let’s have a look at the definition of mistakes, again, according to my old school dictionary. Mistake; to misunderstand; to misinterpret. To make a mistake. A wrong idea, answer, etc. and error of judgement or a blunder. Yikes. Here is my take on mistakes. I think they are not so bad. I think mistakes are actually a wonderful thing – if they meet two of my mistakes are wonderful criteria. And here they are:
- If it is an honest mistake
- If you learn from it
Let me explain what I think an honest mistake is. Have you ever sent a document to the wrong printer? Just an error. Maybe you weren’t careful ormaybe you weren’t paying attention. No harm done, right? Maybe…. Okay. Here is the scenario; you’re at your office and you all share a printer, not uncommon. You have to print your client’s confidential profile for your records. You are in a rush and hit print, but it doesn’t come out of your assigned printer. OH NO! You check what printer you used and “oops” you sent it to the accounting department’s printer. OH NO! So you run down, grab the profile from the printer and phew. You are safe. You go upstairs and switch your default printer to the one in your department to prevent this from happening again. Awesome. What did we learn? To double-check the printer settings and even to be more present when working on a client’s confidential profile. No one saw the document, so you are good to go. The next day….The boss comes to your office and says, “Hey Pat, someone from accounting said that there was a confidential document from our department on their printer yesterday. Was that you who printed it?” Here is where it can go either way; “No it wasn’t me” could open up the beginning of your downfall. You would be a liar if you said that, and that’s not cool. You become a person who can’t be trusted… Bad Pat! But instead you say, “Oh…yeah that totally was me. I was in a rush. Sorry. I have changed my default printer to this one (points to the correct printer) and will be more mindful from now on. J” YAY PAT!!! You took ownership of the mistake, learned from it and now look like a rad employee to your boss! The results of this mistake are actually pretty good. It meets both of my criteria!
I get that people have varying degrees of honesty and what it means to learn. There are things that you might be able to get away with based on a technicality. But if that’s your foundation for making mistakes okay, then chances are, you are not making mistakes. You are making, what I like to call an “on purpose” type of thing. Say drinking and driving. Your intent is selfish. That is the furthest thing from making an honest mistake. You knew better! If you “forget” to tell your spouse that your mom is coming for a visit, not cool. And if you do something that will cause harm to anyone if they found out, (cheating, lying, stealing) but think, “what harm will it do if they never know” it’s not a mistake. If you are being careless, (that is; not caring or treating something or someone without regard) it is not a mistake.
So here are some fun facts about mistakes.
- The slinky was made by mistake. As were the pacemaker, the chocolate chip cookie, post it notes and penicillin.
- Spain thought California was an island for a realllly long time.
- Mistake was first used in the 14th century and meant “to commit an offence”
- Missi, my daughter dated that boy. (LOL)
- My mom gave me a car for Christmas once and spelled my middle name wrong. For real. We still laugh about that one.
And here are some ways to make mistakes really good.
- Don’t lie about them. You made a mistake – grow from it with integrity.
- Don’t make excuses for them. “I didn’t know” or “I am going through puberty” just doesn’t cut it sometimes.
- Don’t beat yourself up about it. What really counts is how you adjust to the mistake you have made and make positive changes as a result of the mistake.
- Apologize if your mistake hurt anyone. Let them know how you feel about it and let them know how you will fix it. Then hug.
- Everyone makes mistakes. Someone, somewhere has probably made the exact mistake you have. It’s okay to make mistakes!
I can’t stress enough that mistakes aren’t necessarily a bad thing. They really do give us great opportunity to be amazing. How many times have we laughed because of a mistake? (Laugh) If it was all in good fun, and no one was hurt, then it’s okay to laugh. Wouldn’t it suck to love someone who is perfect? Is that even possible? What would that do to our self-esteem? YIKES! (Love) If we don’t make mistakes, we aren’t really living. We aren’t taking risks are we? (Live) And among other ways, I think making mistakes are an excellent way to learn. (Learn)
You might me asking yourselves why I put those certain words in parenthesis. Wait… is it parenthesi, parenthesises…one sec…I have to learn. It’s parenthesises. Okay. Why did I put those words in parenthesises? Because there is a fantastic song and ever since I first heard it, I have always thought there should be a 4th “L” to the Live Laugh Love saying.
Laugh, Love, Live, Learn – Grace by Devin Townsend
And that’s all I got! Hope you liked what you read. Please share. And thank you for reading my blog.