I learned that everyone makes mistakes and has weaknesses and that one of the most important things that differentiates people is their approach to handling them. I learned that there is an incredible beauty to mistakes, because embedded in each mistake is a puzzle, and a gem that I could get if I solved it, i.e., a principle that I could use to reduce my mistakes in the future. I learned that each mistake was probably a reflection of something that I was (or others were) doing wrong, so if I could figure out what that was, I could learn how to be more effective. I learned that wrestling with my problems, mistakes, and weaknesses was the training that strengthened me. Also, I learned that it was the pain of this wrestling that made me and those around me appreciate our successes.
In short, I learned that being totally truthful, especially about mistakes and weaknesses, led to a rapid rate of improvement.
(1) Thank you Guy Cohen for the tip.
(2) I often say to people in Seeking Alpha: “Bad is good!”. It sounds Orwellian, but it means this: If we’re doing something badly, there’s opportunity to fix it, and opportunity for upside. If we’re doing everything perfectly, there’s no opportunity for upside. So problems and mistakes = upside potential.
(3) The key is to ascribe mistakes and problems to weaknesses in a process, not to personal failings. The mistake is therefore a gift — it exposed a weakness in your underlying process which you can now fix.
(4) Is there a psychological similarity to How to view rejection?