“To change ourselves effectively, we first must change our perceptions.” ~ Stephen R. Covey
The beginning of a year inherently is a time of transition, a good time to assay our perspective. Each of us has just spent another year in our business and personal lives moving forward, back, laterally and standing still in turn. Hopefully we have progressed a bit on whatever journey we earlier set ourselves and feel as though our time has been well invested. Inevitably, however, we have our regrets, things we now want to do differently, take more chances or perhaps fewer depending on circumstance.
However we gauge success, the best of us tend to be our most harsh critic. If your inner judge is not happy right now, let’s take a small bit of time to give him his due and then to ask him to be quiet. Let’s put our mistakes in perspective.
Mistakes, errors and mishaps are often the best of tutors. It is an unfortunate truth we learn best by mistake. It is part of our evolutionary make-up: mistakes act as genetic mutations reshaping us into something closer to our real potential. So in the name of redeeming our past, we can look at mistakes as a dress rehearsal for better times. It is, after all, a mis-take – the very word suggests the possibility of a “do-over.”
Life is filled with do-overs. Seldom are we locked into a course of action we cannot alter. Almost never do we travel, either literally or figuratively, in a straight line. The absolute best way to give mistakes their due is to spend some time incorporating them into our business plan for the year to come.
Not happy with the number of clients you acquired last year? Was your networking a bit slip-shod? Did you not earn as much compensation as you had hoped? Truly these are not failures, but opportunities. Study the situation, accept responsibility, determine how to do better and then, importantly, resolve to act. In so doing you salvage and redeem the past and enhance the outlook for the future.
My father once told me if I wasn’t making mistakes, I wasn’t trying hard enough.
The end of the year is the beginning of the next. Sit your 2019 mistakes down, have a conversation and thank them for the lessons. Then, let them know it’s time to part ways, you won’t be available for 2020.