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Mistakes

Mistakes are inevitable.

If you log in enough minutes doing ANY activity, you’ll accumulate your fair share of slip ups and sloppy moments.

Even Michael Jordan missed a dunk from time to time.

No matter how hard you practice, no matter how much you prepare, no matter how good you become at what you do, you will drop the ball at some point in the future.

The biggest mistake you can make, however, is the mistake of uncritically assuming that your mistakes are evidence that something is wrong with you.

Sometimes, a mistake is simply a mistake.

Sometimes, you don’t need to work on yourself.

Sometimes, you don’t need to do a system overhaul.

Sometimes, you don’t need to figure out the deeper meaning of what happened.

It’s up to you to discern when those times are, but just remember:

You can’t make it through life if you treat every mistake as if it matters.

At least that’s the way I see it.

What about you?

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  1. TK, you are such a wise man! I recently signed up to receive your emails, and I’m so glad I did. My life has been so full of change lately and your wisdom has been a guiding light.

    My husband and I have been the house band aboard The Bahia Belle in Mission Bay, San Diego for the last twenty-two years, and we just recently got let go by the new in-coming management in favor of a DJ. In addition, I find myself having to take on the role of executive producer and relocate the dinner theater show I produce, a monumental feat with my small budget. Furthermore, to keep up with the competition, my small video business is in dire need of an equipment upgrade (we still shoot in SD); though I have tons of equity in my home and my credit is stellar, the banks consider it a co-op, and no one yet seems willing to fund me. To top it off, my piano/vocal teaching schedule has diminished to three days a week instead of my regular five days.

    I’m used to working seven days a week and find myself booked for only 3 1/4 days instead. I figure I must be making room for something REALLY BIG! ;P

    Though I’m not overly worried about where we’ll go from here (I’m always into one creative/profit-making project or another), I wanted to let you know that reading your blogs has been a most welcome addition to my daily routine. Your thoughts on life ground me and remind me that so much of my attitude depends on how I choose to look at things. Thanks for helping me stay on track. – Lisa Laughbaum

  2. Good advice and advice I should more closely follow. I’ve come to believe that this is closely tied to perspective, for it seems that in the past when I have beaten myself up over mistakes it has been because I lost a clear perspective. Such disparaging was a regular part of my life and I still must guard against it.

  3. I used to believe perfection was always acheivable. All one had to do was apply one self and it would be done.
    I had a large share of frustration but overall could get done in the way I wanted, my view of perfection.
    A few years back I worked with a man and he and I were having a disagreement over the way a job was being done. As the meeting progressed, I was expressing my displeasure and how I had the power to make him come back time after time until I was satisfied. Note the number of “I” that was being used. At a point he stood up and walked to a window and looked out. He was not saying anything. Finally he turned and looked at me. He said, “You are the kind of person I used to be. I always wanted things to be done perfectly, and done my way. As I have gotten older I have learned, with human beings involved, if you can achieve 90%, then it always seems to work out. If you can get human beings to so things 90% correct 90% of the time, then you are doing pretty good.”. At the time I just marked it up to someone wanting to explain an excuse for not doing things “right”.
    Over ten years later I have come to recognize the truth in what he said. You can fix a lot of things with trim, caulk and paint. I recently renovated a house that was built 60 years ago. As the trim was removed the shortcomings of the original workers was found. Did it affect the fact the house had protected several families over that period of time? No. In fact the trim that covered the imperfections was the part of the charm that made the house look the way it did.
    One does not need to accept shoddy work or results. But sometimes the best that can be done by human beings is less than perfection.

  4. Hello T.K. (and others),

    Again, more thought-provoking discussions. Enjoy them all immensely. Like a daily psychic
    battery re-charge.

    Read “Life’s Little Instruction Book” collection of quotes a father dedicated to his son. He used to leave one on the fridge each day for his son. Then compiled them into this book. One of his
    really jumped out at me: “Strive for Excellence, not perfection.” This has benefitted me greatly.

    Dr. Natheniel Branden suggested that rather than ask oneself “Can I do it?” ask “How can I do
    it?” This helps to drive us toward solutions. We don’t take the mistakes personally, nor fret over
    them, and our self-esteem stays intact. Found this also very beneficial. Running a business, I’ve had my share.

    There’s one way to avoid mistakes: not to do anything. That would be a mistake.

    Regards,

    Alana

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