The things I sort of knew as a kid but never really understood why”
Part 1; Mistakes Happen- Just Own It
3 Steps to owning, accepting and correcting your mistakes
It’s almost a battle cry for kids
Our house is no different.
As a parent most of the time all you want is for
them to slow down and take their time.
After all when you’re running around like a maniac,
you tend to get hurt.
In our house there is one time its not just welcomed but
And it’s during dinner.
“Me First” is the bold announcement as to who
wants to start their gratefuls.
A few years back I introduced this one
as a way for us all to reflect on our day and a sort of
sneaky way for us as parents to get a real insight
to what was happening with our kids.
At the time our youngest was still under 3
so most of what she was grateful for was food.
Hey I get it,, I do make a mean Olive Chicken.
What she was grateful didn’t matter at this point.
It was about creating a habit of reflecting on our day.
We have a rule that goes with it.
No matter what kind of day you’re having you
have to find 3 things to be appreciative for.
And only one can be about food…kids…
I have to be honest, there are some days its a
Real struggle for me but I always find something.
Don’t set your mind on things you don’t possess as if they were yours, but count the blessings you actually possess and think how much you would desire them if they weren’t already yours. — Marcus Aurelius, Meditations,
I’m no Kum By Yah campfire hemp-wearing hippy.
I’m just a dad trying to do the right thing for his family and himself.
I’m well aware of how tough life can be.
I know how unrealistic and unwise it would be to believe life doesn’t come with hardships.
Darkness follows light, there is yin and yang in everything we do.
It’s an eternal equilibrium.
Firmly grounded in our grateful practices I recently added a new question.
What one thing today didn’t go as you had hoped or you failed at?
We all know great examples of where failure led to amazing discoveries,
his team had literally thousands of attempts at the light bulb.
Or less well known like Canadian Scientist John Hopps and the pacemaker, he was looking for a tool for hypothermia at the time. Or a naval engineer called Richard T James who mistakenly invented the slinky.
These people didn’t let the world beat them down.
The world ain’t all sunshine and rainbows. It’s a very mean and nasty place… and I don´t care how tough you are, it will beat you to your knees and keep you there permanently, if you let it. Rocky Balboa
Why then should you.
The answer is simple, you shouldn’t.
Here are the 3 steps we use at home and in life to work through our failures.
1. Be honest with yourself and others.
You have to admit to the mistake, the thing you failed at. You got to own it.
Totally own it. It belongs to no one else.
In my experience, that no matter how hard you try you can’t outrun it. It will eventually catch up to you and bite you in the ass.
I don’t know how else to say this, its pretty simple..It’s yours.
2. Forgive Yourself.
What anyone else says or thinks about it doesn’t matter, this one again is one you.
Yes I know, this accountability stuff isn’t easy
Its dam hard, but it is worth it.
I’m not just spouting some new age hippy stuff either. This one is grounded in centuries of thought and practice and by people way, way smarter than me.
Seneca one of the Major League players in Stoicism said;
“When the light has been removed and my wife has fallen silent, aware of this habit that’s now mine, I examine my entire day and go back over what I’ve done and said, hiding nothing from myself, passing nothing by. For why should I fear any consequence from my mistakes, when I’m able to say, “See that you don’t do it again, but now I forgive you.”
Okay so its not new age, its old hippy stuff.
And you are not really congruent with the old Stoics.
Well what about some science.
As a matter of fact, it turns out beating yourself up
over this kind of thing generates a bunch of negative emotions.
Negative emotions generate a load of chemicals in your brain that lead to you making rash judgments , taking unnecessary risks and shutting down your creativity centre.
I think we can agree.
This is not the sort of attitude or Brain limiting function you need for the next step.
3. Find the pathway to a solution.
Another age old cliché but very true. Learn from your mistakes.
By establishing a accepting your mistake and forgiving yourself
you open up neural pathways in your brain stimulated.
Pathways stimulated by positive neuro chemicals like
These chemicals responsible for accessing working memory,
All the stuff you want and need find a path to your solution.
My hope is that by discussing the things that didn’t go right and walking through these 3 steps I teach my kids to not let the world beat them down.
That I learn to be more forgiving with myself and become a better dad and human being
That mistakes happen, to accept them and know that they are an essential part of living and an integral part of growth.
This is the first in a series of articles I wish to write on;
“The things I sort of knew as a kid but never really understood why”
Or if there is a friend or family member who you think might benefit from the 3 steps I would be grateful if you could forward on to them.
They work for my family and me; maybe they will also work for them.
Change happens one person at a time..
You can also check out my new adventure, which I’m hoping to go live with in the coming weeks. So stay tuned