“We learn something every day, and lots of times it’s that what we learned the day before was wrong”. —Bill Vaughan
Have you ever made a mistake and learned from it? Then, like me, you are amongst the many who have learned how to make the best of a bad job.
I recently had to re-do my blog because it was ‘too wordy’ and through this I learned that blogging is an art form and had to be given the respect and attention it deserves if I am to create engaging and interesting content.
I have a lot to say – and to say it in a way that helps you, my readers, inform your life in ways that are helpful. So, here goes with the first of many and I hope you will allow me to help you focus on some productive thinking by sharing my thoughts in this blog.
As we are on the topic of learning, something I am very passionate about, I intend to blog some of the ideas that I have found to be useful over the years and that have helped me to overcome some of life’s bigger challenges. To start, I am focusing on how I learned to accept that making mistakes are the key to learning usefully.
These days, I rather like it when I get things wrong. I didn’t used to; In fact I hated it and felt criticised or stupid. I would tell myself that I was an idiot – and sometimes less politely put than that :-/ Somewhere deep inside I believed that if I was really mean to myself that would motivate me to do better next time. Not so, I found it to be counter-productive. Instead, it made me feel bad and stupid. Not a comfortable or happy way to get the best from myself!
My school days were plagued with teachers who enjoyed making me feel worthless and stupid and it took years of personal work to clear those bad feelings!
These days I really appreciate being a good learner and I like the idea that when I screw up, I am about to learn how to do something better in future. So instead of worrying about other people thinking badly of me, and thinking badly of myself, I decided to celebrate each time I make a mistake and ask myself the question “How could I do that better next time?”. In that way, I am preparing myself both consciously and unconsciously for the next time so I can improve continuously! I feel much better about myself and am even more motivated to learn and improve.
My mentor and teacher, Dr Richard Bandler, says that “if you compare yourself with others, you will probably find there are people who are doing better that you, but if you are doing better today than you were yesterday, you know you are going in the right direction. A much happier and more productive way to think than I learned as a child at school
I wish that schools would be kinder in the way they treat our kids when they ‘get it wrong.’ I wonder what it would be like to grow up in a world where we all could be generous spirited enough to applaud each others’ mistakes and celebrate learning how to do stuff better.
The one thing about the idea that we may live many lifetimes that I am not keen on is that I would have to go back to being at school again. But then perhaps teachers are learning to do things better too! Here’s hoping – for us all.