All of us make mistakes. What we do after will affect how much that mistake will affect us. The first thing we should do after making a mistake is own up to it. When you deny making any mistakes you actually separate yourself from others. When you own your failures as well as your successes you give yourself a lot more control. So we have got to the point of admitting that you are the one who made the mistake. What is the next logical step?
The next thing to do is to begin to put forth the effort to fix the mistake. If this mistake involves another person a good idea is to offer a heart felt apology. Let me pause for just a minute here to make a very important point. Saying your sorry is not the end of your job here. In fact, it is a very good beginning. I wrote a blog post quite some time ago called ‘A broken plate’. You are welcome to go back and read it, but for the sake of time I will give you the theme in a nutshell. There was a gentleman who kept hurting peoples feelings, apologized but did not change his actions. Eventually a wise teacher explained to him what was wrong by breaking a plate. He told the man to say he was sorry to the plate. He then asked if that did anything to put the plate back together. The man said “Of course not”. Which brings us to our next point.
Offering an explanation for your actions without making an excuse can help clear up any confusion in the future. Again, explaining why you broke the plate will also do little to put it back together. You must take actions to do so. In the plate example the man glued the plate back together. The teacher noted even though the plate was now back in one piece it was no longer the same. This can hold true of our mistakes. By taking actions to correct them, we can put things back together but we must understand there might be lingering issues. To this let me add one thing. I have read about a tradition of gluing broken pottery together using gold glue. That way the cracks then become something of beauty. In many ways this can be true of mistakes. When we own up to them, sincerely apologize, take action to correct them and work with the other parties involved to come up with a plan to avoid them in the future we can actually improve our relationships and grow closer.
Here is one other positive on making mistakes. It never feels good to say that you are the one who messed up, but know there are very few opportunities equal to this one to show the strength of your character as well as your dedication to making things right. Mistakes are one of the greatest opportunities we have for growth. We must take advantage of that. So next time you mess up, do not just say sorry and walk away. Think of what you can do to fix the damage and what you can do to avoid the same mistake in the future. Then you have just turned a mistake into a lesson.
I would like to begin this post quote from Les Brown, one of my favorite speakers.
“Millions of people die each year because of what they eat. Millions more die because of what is eating them”.
This site is focused on living an amazing life. We have discussed in previous posts the importance of focusing on where you want to go. Today will be a little different. Today’s post will be about how to increase the speed and ease of which to achieve your goals as well as improving your health. Sounds great doesn’t it? What if I told you this can be accomplished with one action? Too good to be true? Read on and decide for yourself.
Do you have something that is eating you? If you are anything like the rest of us chances are the answer is yes. Perhaps it is a relationship with someone who needs repair? Perhaps it is a hurt you are carrying with you from long ago? Not only does this slow you down, in fact, it is like running toward your goal while dragging an anchor. It can fill you with self doubt or feelings of not being worthy of the success you so deserve. The continued stress this causes you can actually affect your health. We all know how much our productivity slows when our health is not up to par.
More than likely you are aware of all of these challenges, but the question is how to fix them. Usually it revolves around one simple word. Next to ‘gratitude’ it is one of the most powerful words we can make use of. That word is ‘forgiveness’. IF you catch yourself thinking “They are not worth forgiving” or “You don’t know what they did to me”. You would be right on both accounts. I don’t know your situation personally. Here is the straight up truth – it does not matter -. How can I say it doesn’t matter?
Easy, forgiveness is not for the other person. First of all changing other people seldom works. Not to mention we have no right to do so. People have the right to choose who they want to be even if it is someone who tends to be not so pleasant. No my friends, forgiveness is for us. If you are mad at someone chances are it doesn’t affect them nearly as much as it does you. It has been said anger is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die. When you forgive someone, whether they deserve it or not, you are freeing yourself. You are effectively saying “Your actions will no longer cause me any anguish”. You must forgive truly, however. This does not mean you have to let that person back in your life, or that you are excusing their actions. It just means you are no longer prisoner to the pain that their actions have caused you.
Think of the last time you heard someone else complaining about or putting someone else down. What did you think of the person doing the complaining? When you are the one doing the complaining and telling someone over and over again how terrible someone is or how much they hurt you how do you feel? Usually it is like reliving the hurt all over again. Even if you just think about it in your mind it can make you sick to your stomach. So do your self a favor, let yourself out of that prison of anger and hate. Do not be one of the millions who die because of what is eating them.
Feel free to share your ideas on forgiveness below and feel free to share this post.