Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Top 5 things to know after you've messed up

      Today is as good a day as any to face our bloopers, errors and embarrassing failures straight on.
      I’ll stick my neck out first. Just this week I forgot two, not one, birthdays, lost a bill and accidently didn’t tape the entire interview for an assignment.
     I had one of two options: Ignore the matter and fumble on poorly, or make amends, repair the damage and correct my errors.
     Those are trivial blips in the greater scheme of things. You and I have had many worse scenarios, and for a few we have cried for hours on end. By faith we have hung on and seen the sun rise over the hilltop.
    Not a single one of us gets a free pass.
     I came across this sound advice from great international leader, Winston Churchill. “Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.”
     No. 1 You are not the first person.
     The world is not coming to an end. I spent wasted younger years trying to gloss over situations so I wouldn’t look inept.
     Each of us puts on a public face, and it conceals our self-imposed inadequacies.  
     You have loads of company, and if it makes you feel a little bit better, that person you thought is so perfect at everything hasn’t landed firmly on the ground either.
      The media loves to glamorize Hollywood stars and make their lives the ultimate achievement. When a wart appears to blemish them in the eyes of their adoring public, few remember that they are human, too.
      It’s all in our attitude. Own up to mistakes, take responsibility and let them go. It is a very hard task not to revisit our mistakes and let them beat us up unmercifully. Certainly, you can learn from them.
     No. 2 Things look better after a good night’s rest.
     There is something about looking at a dilemma with fresh wide -awake eyes that helps in working toward a sensible solution.
     I find it fruitless staying up late trying to solve an issue when I am overtired. It only makes me toss and turn in bed and provoke all sorts of negative energy. Beating up the pillow is pointless.
     “Tomorrow is another day.”
     My dad always said that things will be brighter in the morning, and I believed him. Now I sing in the shower, get right back to it and my spirits are charged to full capacity.
     More often than not, the solution or a new path comes during sleep, too, and upon awakening a possibility occurs from my subconscious.
     No. 3 Every invention is the result of multiple failures.
     As adults we know our own risk level, and that drives our choices about investments, career changes and practically everything inbetween.
     Problem solving and out of the box thinking does not come without failure — nor does any form of artistic creativity.
     Two movies out this year attest to great scientific achievements that changed the course of history. In both “The Imitation Game” and “The Theory of Everything” a lot of experimentation and openness to unusual thoughts brought solutions.
     Failure is a good thing to teach young children within a safe environment for not everything works a child’s way and in a timely fashion. Too often children in their selfishness think that the world revolves around them, and expect things to fall into their laps. As a matter of fact, certain adults never rise above it either.    
     Learning how to be flexible and resilient are excellent skills to instill in young children.
     I saw a mother in an airport doing just that thing by example. I thought it was a good teaching moment and I gave her an A plus. A flight was cancelled and she would be taking her brood of children to a hotel for the night and catching a plane to grandma’s house the next morning. She remained as calm as she could in front of the children, and made it seem like an adventure while hand-in-hand they trudged off carrying their backpacks.
    No. 4 You do not have to explain yourself.
     That’s a hard one. I used to feel that it was necessary. All the time. I don’t anymore.
      Frankly, it depends upon the situation. Special people in your life love you for you, and willingly accept everything about you including your flaws. They trust you and your judgment. Nothing needs to be stated.
     Throwing a pity party and taking on sympathy as the answer to a problem only sets in motion more of the same. Nothing comes to resolution. There are well-meaning people that will listen to you for hours on end until after a while even those folks will turn away.
     No. 5 There is only one way, and it is up.   
     As bottomless you may think the pit, there is an end if you take charge of your situation and do what you have to do. Perhaps, the change in direction might be the best thing ever when looking back.
     You want empathy from others who jump into the pit with you, hold your hand and listen. Those who refocus the conversation back to their own self-interests are not of help.
     Look to your trusted mentors for wise advice. It helps to a point getting varied opinions from others through social media, but it is smarter to store up decent friendships with people that will help you through the dark times.
     Move over vulnerabilities. Face things squarely.