Picture this, you’re out at the park with the family, running around, jumping on stuff, climbing the monkey bars, and then all of a sudden you experience it.
Your child is about to go down the slide and you get this flash in your mind, this memory that seems to leap forward and play back this exact moment, your child sliding down the slide, as if it were a memory, something that has already happened. Like you’ve already seen this, already experienced it.
That’s Déjà Vu, which in french literally means “already seen.”
But what I’m talking about is a bit different.
I’m talking about the situation where one day you find yourself on the phone with an angry client. Somewhere along the line, you messed up, you dropped the ball, and you missed a deadline and now they’re angry. Not because you missed the deadline this one time, but because you often miss deadlines. Or you often miss meetings. Or you often over-promise and under-deliver.
What ever the situation is, when you often repeat the same mistakes over again, you get this feeling deep in your gut that reminds you that YOU are doing something wrong here…
This is what I call Déjà Poo. It’s that feeling you get when you know you’ve been in this mess before.
I heard a quote the other day that said, “mistakes should never get an encore.“
Now to be clear, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with mistakes. (Or failures, or obstacles, or F-ups, or whatever you like to call them!)
I encourage mistakes.
I expect mistakes.
I want mistakes.
In fact, make as many mistakes as you can as early as you can because they provide you with the opportunity to LEARN and IMPROVE. And the more you can get done early on in life the better; you have plenty of time to grow.
It’s when the mistake gets repeated that the problem arises. The mistake is not the problem; failing to LEARN from the mistake is the problem.
I believe there are THREE very important things to remember about mistakes.
1 – You need to accept full responsibility. You can’t grow and improve when you put the blame on others. Grab that obstacle and own it. Make it yours and learn from it. Full responsibility without reserve puts the power to learn in your hands. As long as you think someone else caused the mistake you place the ability to do something about it in THEIR hands.
Always remember that a person who makes a mistake and then offers an excuse has now made TWO mistakes.
Cut your losses and learn.
2 – You need to learn from your mistakes. Whenever a mistake is made, take some time to think back on it and reflect. I guarantee you that with the right attitude, with openness and responsibility you WILL find a lesson, and most likely many lessons, that you can take away from every failure.
And that takes us to the third key…
3 – APPLICATION. You must apply the lessons you’ve learned. We’ve all dealt with that person who says they know something yet isn’t doing it. Listen, if they aren’t doing it, they don’t know it. If ever there was a “shortcut” to success, the formula would look something like this:
Make the mistake, learn from the mistake and apply the solution.
If you’ve found yourself experiencing Déjà Poo, it’s time to step it up. It’s time to learn and apply. It’s time to commit to a higher self-standard. It’s time to Raise Your Standards (RYS – the acronym I live by).
It’s time to resolve this once and for all.
Does that mean you never make mistakes? Not at all, it means you eliminate the need to make the same mistakes over again because you consciously choose to learn and apply the lessons that come out of mishaps.
Take some time today and look back on your weekend, or your last week, or your last mistake and look at it from a different view point. Don’t ask, “What’s the lesson in this?” because it’s too easy for your brain to say “NOTHING!” Instead, ask yourself, “IF there was a lesson hidden in this mess, what could it be?” and let your mind work the challenge until it comes out with a solution.
I guarantee you that if you took 5 minutes at the end of every day to think about your day and pull out the lessons from it, you’re going to make it to the top.
To your success,
CEO RYS Group
The Blais family enjoying the views at Lake Tahoe.
RYS Group Inc.
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