Posted on May 12, 2011
The other day, I wrote about failure. How failure is an opportunity to learn, to grow, but most importantly…a moment that we can elevate ourselves. The lesson was, Fail Up, rather than crumble down. However, there is another crucial element to the equation that I didn’t really cover. I want to talk about our mistakes.
Making mistakes is part of life. And good lord have I made a lot of mistakes in mine. You name it, I’ve done it. Fact is, all of us have made countless mistakes which are the events that shape our lives. Mistakes and failures go hand in hand. Most of the time though, our mistakes are on a much lesser scale. But, nonetheless, they are extremely important to our development and growth into becoming someone better. You can learn a lot from succeeding, but you can learn a whole lot more from things that don’t work. Edison learned more about electricity in failing over 1,000 times then he could have in nailing the light bulb in the first try. He wouldn’t have gone on to be the amazing inventor he was if he didn’t fail so much. What really mattered though, was the fact that he didn’t let his mistakes discourage him. He knew, better than anyone, that it was all part of the journey, and at the end he would be surrounded in light. He eventually was.
We are going to make mistakes. We are going to snap, push people away we love, ask for things we thought we wanted, make rash decisions, hurt those close to us, do things that are out of our character, get wasted, say things we don’t mean, break promises, break hearts, hate, fear, talk smack, tear things apart, burn things down, the list is endless of the mistakes we will make in our lives. But when we turn mistakes which can be fixed… into failures…which take lots of superglue and duct tape to fix…it is because we didn’t own up to what we have done. Own it. This is when we learn. This is when we grow. It is one of the hardest things to look at yourself in the mirror and say “I have done something wrong, and I am going to fix it. I have let myself down.” But as hard as that is, our owning up to mistakes is one of the most powerful things we possess. We expect better out of ourselves. We should expect better. We create the problems, now, we have to do what is necessary to fix them. That first step…is taking ownership. If you have hurt someone else, then it is even more important to own up to what you have done and fix it. It doesn’t matter how embarrassed you are, or how afraid, fix it. Chances are, if you speak from your heart and you are honest, they will forgive you. You owe them an apology…most of all…you owe it to yourself to learn from your mistakes and grow. Your bravery will elevate you to heights you never dreamed of.
Have the courage to act.
The Better Man Project