Mistakes intrigue me - my own and those of others. With proper care and handling, mistakes can lead us further and closer to right and good answers.
I am an analyzer. When I fall, fumble, flop and flounder I like to immediately begin an examination as to why those foibles happened.
Just imagine what we might learn with this kind of mindset. Challenges are not the enemy. Refusing to properly deal with them is, however.
My wife teaches 35 or so piano students. We know that if we expect to see growth in these kids they have to continually be challenged to try more difficult passages of music. And when they do, there will always be mistakes, missed notes and uneven rhythms. All is well, for Carolyn’s steady hand is there to guide, to teach them a proper respect for failure and how to correct and improve next time.
Mistakes sometimes tell us to slow down. That one smacks me in the face. I like to rush through some tasks, yet, when I slow the tempo, I find I do a better, more thorough job.
We love the book Mindset by Carol Dweck. She says this:
“If parents want to give their children a gift, the best thing they can do is to teach their children to love challenges, be intrigued by mistakes, enjoy effort and keep on learning.”
~Carol S. Dweck
A favorite phrase is this:
If I were inclined to give you a five-point formula, it would look like this.
We made a mistake. Now what?
~Ask the “why” question.
~Review the steps taken prior to the mistake.
~What could we have done differently?
~What else could we have done to add to or prevent the failure?
~Is there some wiser person or mentor to add to our team?
Ask, analyze, consider and then go have another crack at it.
Above all, be intrigued by mistakes, not intimidated by them.
P Michael Biggs
One Word at a Time