Mistakes in Full View

by | Mar 20, 2014

Is there anything more humiliating than making mistakes in full public view? Frankly it frustrates me when mistakes happen for all to see. It happened recently when I posted the YP Journal only to discover it wasn’t working correctly.  I immediately received emails letting me know there was a problem. (Thank you for helping! ) There were even questions from family about what had gone wrong. I had to remind myself that buried underneath my mistake was something to learn. In this case, new skills.

Clearly, it’s much safer to not try something new, to stick to what we know how to do, much like safe philanthropy.  Wait for a request from the organization, write a check for an amount that doesn’t make us uncomfortable, don’t ask questions and wait to be asked again next year.

Safe philanthropy might make us more comfortable, but it misses the opportunity to make significant change. Of course change is often fraught with mistakes, mistakes in full public view. It’s what’s on the other side of the mistakes that matter – making something or someone better.

Now I’m not in favor of trying new and different just to do it.  Sound decision-making will always be important. But then there’s the moment when the next action is the one that changes everything or nothing. And there it is again, almost always in full public view.

Based on my own experience when things don’t go as well as we hoped its best to get over the moment quickly and on to what’s to be learned. Get on to the next step that’s a correction or start over.  But get on to it.

For some the joy of giving only comes when something significant has occurred, changed or started. That joy can come more often when the mistakes are accepted as part of the process and we push through those moments of frustration and humiliation.

So, get busy and make a few mistakes ……… I’d love to hear what you’re learning.



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