“Don’t miss the opportunities brought to light by your mistakes.” (Dan Miller)
How many of us have a hard time remembering the above phrase when we make a mistake? Are you quick to beat yourself up when you do something wrong, replaying it over and over in your head long after everyone else has forgotten, until it is a bigger deal than the original event ever was?
Can you imagine a household where spilled milk, ground in Play-Doh on the living room carpet, or a new hairdo for the dog made with finger paint were considered opportunities instead of mistakes?
Does calling it an “opportunity” automatically excuse the offender from restitution? No, but it does release that person from unnecessary guilt, freeing his mind to think about how things can be done differently in the future to prevent the same “opportunity” from repeating itself instead of degrading himself for making a mistake in the first place. And, sometimes, someone may need to create the same “opportunity” quite a few times before a different result will occur.
So, the next time frustration gets the best of me and I fall short of what I intended to accomplish, I am going to try to put into practice the perspective of “opportunity” instead of “mistake.” If nothing else, maybe I will start to laugh and free myself up to figure out how I can prevent it from happening altogether the next time.
And, maybe, just maybe, I will then carry that same guiltless experience over to my children the next time they create an “opportunity” of growth for themselves. The more focus put on the learning experience, the better the outcome for everyone.