I read a story yesterday about an executive in a company who walked into a meeting and handed out a number of “Forgiveness Coupons” to each of his staff. He told them that he wanted certain outcomes to be achieved in the company and he expected that they would have to take many risks to do so . The executive also told his staff that in the process of taking those risks, they would make mistakes. The coupons were permission to make those mistakes, and they were expected to use the coupons up within the year. I don’t know about you, but I never had a boss tell me to try something and it was OK, or even expected, to make mistakes along the way.
How good it would feel if you knew that you could try out different ideas or ways of doing something and it didn’t matter if it was not as good as you thought it may be? Have you heard about Thomas Edison and how many attempts he made to find the right material for the filament in the light bulb? Here is what he had to say about that
“I failed my way to success”.
What about the many attempts made to invent what we now take for granted such as electricity, cars, planes, building materials, computers and other appliances etc. Do you really think that all those things were able to be created in the form that was successful the very first time?
If you have young children or babies, spend some time watching them. Look how they try something new over and over even though they may not get the result we adults can get. What about when they insist that you let them do something even though you want to do it for them to “do it right” or because it will be quicker. Why do you think a three year old can work a new piece of electronic equipment and older adults struggle? It’s because as we get older we become too concerned about getting it right. We are scared that we may make a mistake.
What if the word ‘failure’ was replaced with ‘feedback’?
What if you allowed yourself to try something totally new and didn’t work focus on getting it right? What could you do then? Or consider this, what if you didn’t get the result you wanted BUT instead you ended up with something much BETTER than you thought you could ever have??
Sometimes the act of making a mistake or having a “failure” can open doors for so many other opportunities and experiences. The trick is to go through the door and to the other side.
“The greatest mistake you can make in life is to continually be afraid you will make one”.
- Are you playing it safe? (barrygottlieb.wordpress.com)
- Story of a deaf school drop out : Tommy E!& some famed failures (innerdialect.wordpress.com)