Things I Want My Son To Know #24 ~ One Foot In Front Of The Other

You have certainly learned the hard way, this year, that procrastination is a killer. The bad news is that you have paid quite a price for it. The good news is that you have had a chance to learn this lesson way sooner than most people do. Whether you actually learn from your missteps was the subject of another blog!

When you have procrastinated, dug yourself a hole, things can seem pretty bleak. At times it may not seem worth climbing out of the hole, even though you know it is. Just getting out of bed can seem a chore; that’s what depression feels like. When you feel like that, fight it. Get out of bed anyway, suit up, show up.

In life there are really only a very few choices when it comes to the times you make mistakes. You can dwell in the past, wallow in self pity and be generally non-productive thereby compounding the problem. Or you can feel bad, take stock, take your lumps, learn something and go forward; figure out how to do better. There is an alternative some see a choice; I don’t. I don’t believe any mistake is worth taking your own life, speaking as someone who has made some doozies.

Life doesn’t stand still. The life you were given is precious and all too short; you are too young to really understand that yet. Life goes forward even when you wish it wouldn’t. And so all there is to do is to wallow, or to go forward with it a wiser person. At those times when you have made a misstep, you get up, you find the path and you put one foot in front of the other; you get through the day. There will be a better one coming.

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Things I Want My Son To Know #14 ~ Learn From Your Mistakes

Everyone makes mistakes. You are a bit of a perfectionist; from the time you were very little you never wanted to do anything until or unless you could do it very well (dare I say perfectly). But everyone makes mistakes. I read an interesting article that talked about how we use mistakes ~ if we tell our children “oh never mind its ok” they won’t learn anything, if we chastise or humiliate our children, they won’t learn anything. The idea is that you should learn from a mistake.

So when you make a mistake, the response should be yes that was a mistake. An appropriate action might be an apology, if you hurt someone. Or you might correct a result, if you are at work. But first, take responsibility for your mistakes. They are yours and you are human, everybody makes mistakes.

Most important, learn from your mistakes. Just like reviewing the wrong answers on an exam in order to learn why they were wrong, the point is to do it right the next time around. Simply put, if you do what you’ve always done, you will get the result you’ve always gotten. The good news is a mistake will point your feet back to the path, or onto a new one, if you have the humility to recognize the mistake, acknowledge the mistake and find a way to do things differently.

So, this goes along with taking a little risk in life. If its okay to make mistakes, then it is okay to try new things. You won’t do them perfectly because, as you know, everything takes practice and committment. You may not even do them well at first, but that’s okay too. You weren’t born knowing how to read and walk, you had learn and you certainly weren’t good at them at first; but you really wanted to do them so you worked at it pretty hard. As we get older, our pride prevents us from trying for fear of the mistake. But just as Native American artisans weave an error into their work so as not to offend God with perfection; we know we are human by our mistakes.

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