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Reading today’s portion of 7 habits of highly effective people and wanted to share something I have come to believe and accept, but Stephen Covey does an excellent job with stating it so succinctly.

… ‘The proactive approach to a mistake is to acknowledge it instantly, correct and learn from it. This literally turns a failure into a success. “Success,” said IBM founder T. J. Watson, “is on the far side of failure.” But not to acknowledge a mistake, not to correct it and learn from it, is a mistake of a different order.

It usually puts a person on a self-deceiving, self-justifying path, often involving rationalization (rational lies) to self and to others. This second mistake, this cover-up, empowers the first, giving it disproportionate importance, and causes far deeper injury to self.”’…

How often have we felt deflated about a mistake and just told ourselves “oh I won’t make that mistake again…” whilst that is a good attitude to correct our mistakes and prevent them, it doesn’t let us take the bigger step. The bigger step is not to think about not making a mistake but asking yourself what would have led to me being successful instead, and then doing that next time.

Don’t be afraid of mistakes, be in control of your response to them, be proactive.

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