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Success and Failure, Failure and Success. Are they really that far apart?

August 8, 2010

Success and Failure, Failure and Success. Are they really that far apart? I read a very interesting and timely post by fellow ‘rainer Elliott S. Topkins, a Massachusetts Real Estate and Title Attorney. The name of the post is “Making the Buck Stop Where it Should – The Power of Taking Responsibility for Errors and Moving Forward”. Mr. Topkins takes a simple, honest and fresh approach to making mistakes, it spoke volumes to me. I have been recently thinking about this very subject long and hard.

Sunrise over the cornfields new milford ctWhat is it inside of us that makes it so difficult to admit we are wrong? After all, human beings, by our very nature, are imperfect beings! To learn from the mistakes, miscalculations, from our misunderstandings is truly a great thing. To beat ourselves up when they occur, and they will occur, is pointless. Yet it happens over and over again. Do we consider it failure when we make a mistake? Or is it our egos that just can’t accept that we are not perfect beings. It is the rare person I see that can take an error, truly apologize and move on without performing all sorts of self flagellation in the process.

Note a polar opposite, how do we handle it when we are working with someone who makes a mistake? Yes, mistakes can be costly I know. I often find myself getting angry, judging, yet if it is me that makes the mistake I know that is not what I want people to do to me. Interesting quirk of human nature, isn’t it?

George Bernard Shaw said “A life spent making mistakes is not only more honorable, but more useful than a life spent doing nothing”. Another famous American, Benjamin Franklin said “Do not fear mistakes. You will know failure. Continue to work on this.”

I leave you with one more quote, Winston Churchill said “Success is going from failure to failure without a loss of enthusiasm”. I think I need to work on this…

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