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I bet the last time you made a mistake you thought it was a failure right?

You messed up at work. You screwed up your relationship. You made a flub, error, blunder, a big snafu on a check, when driving, at a restaurant, with a customer, in front of your boss or in working with a client. Yikes! Your life is over. You might as well throw up your hands in the air, pull out that white flag and give up.

Not so fast!

There have been many times I made a “wrong” decision only to find out years later that it was the best decision I ever made. When we pre-judge our actions as failures and mistakes, we rob ourselves of possibility, truth and the chance for a better outcome. There is no way of knowing if what you did really was right or wrong. And in presuming your actions are worthless, you may unintentionally sabotage your life. In truth, the only “person” who can reveal the answer is time.

In the past, a mistake I made almost costed the company I worked for a million dollars. I said the “wrong” thing in a relationship multiple times.

Years later what I see is, wrong job, wrong relationship. And those errors? Just a signal it was time to move on and get back on track with the right people and the right career.

In The Book of Awakening: Having the Life You Want By Being Present to the Life You Have, author Mark Nepo talks about Thomas Edison’s journey with inventing the light bulb. Was there ever a time when he felt discouraged or believed he was wasting his time in the process?

“Edison said no, he learned something each time he tried. He learned that there was another material not to be used.”

Maybe what feels like failure to you is just another relationship or job that isn’t the right fit. Maybe it’s not the right time, the right person, or the right action. But that doesn’t mean we give up on the dream of finding it. In fact, it’s just another rung on the ladder of life and another test of your perseverance to keep going.

Nepo says, “perhaps the most inspiring part of Edison’s journey is how he didn’t view his many attempts as any type of failure on his part, but rather as an inevitable part of the process of discovery.”

How will you perceive your next failure? Will you push it aside as another example of your defeat, a waste of your precious time, or will you embrace it as just another necessary step to reach your goal?

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