Do any of these lines should familiar? “Uh oh, you’ve made the mistake of coloring outside the lines again. No more boo-boos outside the line, okay?” Or…”For each mistake you make on this test, you’ll be penalized by five points. Too many penalty points for too many mistakes and you’ll fail.” Or what about this one…”Make the mistake of screwing up the ‘close’ of your presentation…..and you’ll never be a great listing agent.”
There you have it. At all stages of life, we’re told that making mistakes is wrong, that being wrong too many times can lead to failure, that not being perfect can lead to never becoming successful.
But, does making mistakes really lead to failure or does making mistakes make you feel like a failure? Is making a mistake something to hide or lie about? Is not making mistakes even possible?
The truth is there is no such thing as a mistake-free orb. We all mistakes all the time. And, more truth, the more we try to avoid making mistakes, we more mistakes we make.
If looked at with a positive perspective, the perspective of a higher achiever, mistakes are essentially wake-up calls to improve, to learn, to experiment, to fine tune, to experience something different. Michael Jordan, the some-say-greatest-and-highest-achieving-basketball-player-of-all-time used mistakes to improve his performance. “I didn’t make the cut for my high school basketball team because I made too many mistakes…as a pro, I missed over 9,000 shots and lost almost 300 games…I failed over and over and over again in my life…on and off the court…and (because of all those mistakes,) that’s why I succeeded.”
Michael Jordan was the go-to player when the game was on the line in the last seconds. The more times his teammates set him up with the ball to win the game, the more mistakes and the more attempts he made, the more he could experiment and fine tune his shots and the more chances he got to improve his game.
Michael Jordan is the on court example of analyzing mistakes you have made and then figuring out how to avoid those same mistakes in the future. Jordan made every mistake, every attempt, every effort count by learning from it as do higher achievers.
Albert Eistein said it best…”…The definition of insanity is repeating the same mistakes over and over again and expecting different results…” Jordan didn’t make the same mistake over and over again…he learned from each one and then went on to make different mistakes, over and over again.
Bottom line..a mistake is just a mis-take, not failure. Not making mis-takes, however, guarantees failure. Mis-takes are unavoidable. Higher achievers know that learning from mis-takes is the key. Be a higher achiever…be brave, be bold, be willing to make attempts, take risks and be prepared to make mis-takes.