This epitaph adorns the grave of Ellen Shannon, 26, of Girard, Pennsylvania: Who was fatally burned March 21, 1870 by the explosion of a lamp filled with “R. E. Danforth’s Non-Explosive Burning Fluid.
Apparently, R. E. Danforth thought his non-explosive burning fluid would not explode. Most mistakes are not fatal like Danforth’s product, but merely inconveniences and disappointments. A mistake is an unwanted outcome, not necessarily a reflection of adequacy. Mistakes are messages that more information or knowledge is needed to create the outcomes you want.
I have heard that an eagle misses 70 percent of its strikes. Why should I expect to do better?¹ Our thoughts are delusional if we think life can unfold without mistakes. In fact, the more we’re compelled to present ourselves as error-free, the more it indicates delusional thinking. You and I are going to make mistakes the rest of our lives. We’re imperfect, with flaws, weaknesses, and limitations. There are things we do not have knowledge of; things we do not know how to do.
If you didn’t focus energy on appearing error-free today, where else would you focus that energy? Today, view any mistake as an unwanted outcome and instead of beating yourself up for it, admit the mistake and seek a different solution. –Dr. Sandy
©All rights reserved, 2014, Dr. Sandy Nelson, E-Couch.net
¹Sophy Burnham, American author