When we talk about greatness, many people think this means that things must be perfect – things must work out as planned. But we know life isn’t like that. We aren’t like that and that is actually the key to our greatness.
Our greatness comes through our learning. As I like to tell my audiences, we weren’t born with an owner’s manual – a guidebook that tells us who we are, what we should do and how we should live. Instead, we get the gift of each moment in life as the means to gather information – a kind of trial and error process – to see what does and doesn’t work. Each day, we show up and learn more about ourselves.
Sometimes in this process we get it right – Whohoo! Celebrate. Sometimes we get it wrong – Whohoo! Celebrate. With the mistakes and the failures, we learn about ourselves – more information that can help us better understand how to make our next moments better.
Mistakes are tools of greatness. Maybe that seems like this statement is at odds with itself but it really isn’t. Greatness isn’t a location or an end. It is a mindset and an attitude – a commitment to discover and become one’s best. And because our road to being our best isn’t clearly defined, we stumble our way along. We all do.
But when we work to tune in to our lives, we gather better information; and with better information, we can make better decisions. When we don’t tune in, the signals get confusing; our decisions aren’t so successful. We make mistakes. So, don’t spend a moment of energy lamenting the mistake or failure, but rather use all that energy to learn from it, get back on course and keep moving forward.
Few people I know say they love mistakes and failures. However, people who are highly conscious to their lives, rarely fear or get affected by mistakes and failures – to them they are nothing more than information that means realignment or correction. As Don Shula’s opening quote said, “Success is not forever and failure isn’t fatal.” It is just a moment of information; its value is in what it can tell us and how to be better next time. How do we get better at accepting our memberships in the Oops Club?
• Learn to laugh more. We sometimes think everything matters. That is just a story in our head. Actually, we decide of what happens, what matters. Sure there are some serious situations in life, but most of the situations that we label as serious just aren’t. We could see them as the way life is and get better at laughing them off.
• Learn to tune in more. Life is loaded with information, most of which we miss because we don’t tune into our lives. We are so distracted by all of the noise, lights and yack around us that we don’t pay attention to the things in our life. Tune in means noticing your thoughts, feelings and actions and what motivates them. Make time. Turn the electronics off. Close your eyes. Be still. This is how to connect to your information source.
• Learn to cut others more slack. If we were able to allow others to be more human (because we all make mistakes), perhaps we could allow ourselves to be more human. Cut yourself some slack when things don’t go as planned. Oops. instead, just ask yourself this question: What can I do better next time?
Welcome to the Oops Club. I am a card-carrying member – a club I am proud to be in. This club encourages learning, growing and changing. This is how we access our greatness. This is how we remember that we show up stronger to the things that challenge us. Carry your membership card proudly.