My wife has been working with our daughter on the importance of going through the grading of her homework when the teachers give it back. Of course, our daughter doesn’t like it when she’s wrong. Most people don’t. She take’s it personally and gets down on herself. Being wrong is a misconception and to take that into a negative place is detrimental to ourselves. Over time, this can lead to weird neuroses and health issues. I suppose that’s what adult life is about, working through the difficulties we make for ourselves.
This reminds me of one of the many sound bites we include in out music lists we play at home. As Beethoven says in Immortal Beloved,
“A mistake is nothing. But the fact that you thump out the notes without the least sensitivity to their meaning is unforgivable.”
We make mistakes all the time. My wife and I remind our daughter, son and ourselves all the time to embrace our mistakes as opportunities to learn. It’s tough as it’s so easy to take our errors to that dark place within. However, it is from our errors we can learn how the mistake was made and take action to better ourselves the next time. This is true when in kindergarten, fourth grade, college, work or in a long-term relationship. It’s one thing to say or think it and another to live that way inside ourselves. It takes years and perhaps decades of reminding ourselves that mistakes are simply opportunities to learn.
Feedback. It’s all about feedback. Mistakes and errors are nothing more than feedback into our processing of experience. Our successes in life are also nothing more than feedback. What we do with the feedback in our lives can make all the difference. We can take the negative things into ourselves and allow the pain we cause ourselves to define us. We can take the positive things inside and allow them to fuel our ego to the point of narcissism. Or, we can simply recognize the negative and positive things in our lives as feedback and use the information to better prepare for the chaos and unknown unknowns looming around the next bend in our path through life. When we take this approach, the Biz of You will continually improve over your life time allowing you to better adapt to your particular environment, constraints and opportunities. When we are better prepared to adapt to our ever-changing lives we improve our capacity for independent action.