Goes against everything you’ve learned, right?
We grow up thinking mistakes are bad. We fear goofing up in front of peers. From when you made the last out in slow pitch to when you gave the wrong answer in high school math class.
As adults, we are so afraid of mistakes that we make a large sacrifice: we stop trying.
That is wrong. To succeed, we should instead embrace our mistakes.
We’ve all heard the example of Babe Ruth. The great slugger, who hit more home runs than any human being at that time, also struck out more often.
A head buyer for a retail chain considers mistakes an essential of employment. You will be fired if you AREN’T making enough mistakes.
His reasoning is logical. Each season, buyers must decide which clothing lines will be popular over a year in the future. They base their purchasing decisions on this information. His theory if a buyer never gets stuck with a lousy line of clothes, that buyer is not cutting edge enough for the store’s image. Fashion is a risk, and employees must be will to take that risk in order to succeed. And in fashion, without risks, they would become Woolworth’s. Woolworth’s went out of business.
When I ran a community education program, the prevailing wisdom was that in order to be successful, all of your classes needed to make.
The wisdom was wrong. If all your classes filled, you were playing it too safe. I actually tried to ensure that of every 100 classes offered, 10 of them failed. To grow a program, we had to be on the edge, seeking the next big thing. Your new classes might not draw a student today, but tomorrow Intergalactic Meditation or Self-Body Piercing might be all the rage. And you got there first.
How many of us start each day thinking, “Gee, I hope nothing goes wrong today.”
What if I hit a deer? What if I get stopped for speeding? What if I lose my job?
Instead, try thinking, “I hope something goes wrong today.”
If I hit a deer? So what? I needed a new headlight anyway.
If I get a ticket? So what? It’s just a piece of paper.
If I lose my job? So what? I’ll start a business!
Sure it’s simplistic. But it is incredibly freeing to begin each day accepting the possibility of failure. Or better, tolerating failure. Or even better, pursuing it!
Flirt with failure! Embrace all the unexpected that happens. No day is more wasted than the one that goes by just like the day before.
Like the Babe, you might have more strikeouts, but the hits make it worth it.