Just the other day I wrote a short article about making mistakes, about how we should embrace them as adventurous spirits but write them down lest we forget and get stuck on an endless cycle of making them; big or small. We’ve got grander things to do then get stuck on an error loop.
Then I made one and it wasn’t fixable, like a typo in a blog or an article or quote that could be corrected. It was done and the cost was time (not a huge amount) and a disappointment in myself that less than a month after I’d declared a new set of goals I found myself falling back into an old timewasting habit.
I was irritated with myself like I’d fallen off the smoking wagon, as I’d done thousands of times on the road to quitting. And so soon after writing a self-assured blog about the power of mistakes.
So I sat down to create my register, describe the mistake and extract the lessons learned and move on. It involved spending time on an activity that didn’t fit into my master goals and therefore time was one of the opportunity costs but there was also a confidence knock when I realised that work would not be forthcoming from the activity I’d spent the time on.
Before I hit the register I was feeling blue. Perhaps my grand quota goal of new work was not achievable after all. I sulked, I ate, I stared out the window for half an hour and then I got writing. 5 minutes spent with my mistake and I boiled it down to a lesson around keeping my eye on the prize and not allowing myself to be distracted with things that aren’t on my master list. It has given me a clearer focus on my targets for the week and month and pulled my quotas closer within my reach.
And the point of this two-minute ramble? Pull up a seat and get comfy with your mistakes. They will guide you forward.