Today I rose at 4:25 for a radio interview. Coupled with a late night and no morning coffee, my brain felt a wee bit foggy when the live interview began. Despite that, all went well until the last couple of seconds. That’s when I gave a quote familiar to my audience but accredited it to the wrong guy. I recognized my mistake immediately, but it was too late to fix it on air. Now I’ll have to explore the radio’s website to see whether or not there’s a comment box where I can leave my correction.
Life’s like that. We do our best but we make mistakes. Sometimes they’re no big deal and don’t warrant a second thought. We’re able to forget about them and move on. Other times, however, our mistakes haunt us. We respond by heaping guilt and blame on ourselves. “How could you be so careless?” we ask. Or worse: “How could you be so stupid?”
If we’ve made a mistake that carries far-reaching negative consequences, then we need to forego the negative self-talk and take positive action to fix it as we’re able. It’s better to do admit our mistake and solicit help if necessary than to hide it or deflect blame onto a coworker or family member.
Ralph Waldo Emerson’s attitude deserves applause: “Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could. Some blunders and absurdities no doubt crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day; begin it well and serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense.”
Yes, I made a mistake at work today. But hey, the world didn’t end, did it? I intend to finish my day well. Tomorrow is a new day and will bring a fresh start. And for this I’m thankful: I won’t have to roll out of bed so early, and my brain will function better when I put my mouth in gear.
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