You know those moments in life when things happen, the unexpected, the frustrating, the embarrassing, those soul crushing moments you will never forget. At the time they feel and seem insurmountable, as if you will never be able to recover from their aftermath. Fast forward a few months, years or even decades and those moments have become the foundation for your wisdom and experience.
How right Oscar Wilde was, my experience was solidified by years and years of mistakes. Somehow “experience’ sounds better than mistakes, flubs, or even boggled attempts. We all have them, we all learn from them, and life comes full circle when we share them with others to help them through their own experiential moments. I shared one with a client this week, and we both had a laugh. They appreciated me sharing the story and told me they would need time to be able to laugh at their own boggle. I told them the time would come when it was a funny story, and it was okay for that not to be today.
I appreciate the energy, vigor and blind naivety of youth. I too behaved and thought that way. What I REALLY appreciate is the person who is decades older and can still have the energy to try the new and different with no loss of enthusiasm. The one who has all the experience and still encourages people to get going, keep up the attempts, and even invests time and energy helping them gain experience instead of shame from their mistakes. Life has a way of beating us up, which can feel like being beaten down. Try again, fail again, try once more, fail again. This pattern can make a third or forth of fifth attempt harder to get going. And yet THAT is when the real experience kicks into gear. Knowing when to keep going beyond the failures to get to that final goal, it means learning from those experiences and going forward with your head held high.
Know that ALL great people, great things, great jobs, great projects, great ideas are littered with mistakes. TONS OF THEM! They kept going, moved past the rough spots and eventually it all turned out great! What today feels like a life shattering let down, turns into wisdom and eventually becomes a story you tell people to make yourself more relatable. No one is perfect, no one is without a mistake or two or two thousand. Give yourself a little perspective and keep going…eventually this will be a funny story, just not today.