“Try as hard as we may for perfection, the net results of our labors is an amazing variety of imperfectness. We are surprised at our own versatility in being able to fail so many different ways.” – Samuel McChord Crothers
Did you ever work tirelessly on a project, going over every little detail multiple times, only to reach the end and find a mistake? Is there anything more frustrating?
Over the last month, my organization has been developing a spring newsletter. It was developed by multiple departments, proofed by countless individuals and rearranged dozens of times, and yet still there was a minor error when all was said and done.
To put things into perspective, the mistake was in the “fine print” – the word “our” should have been “out”. And while it’s certainly not the end of the world by any means, having been the gatekeeper on this project, it makes me question my professional abilities when such an avoidable mistake wasn’t caught.
Needless to say, the discovery hit me personally hard for the remainder of the day.
Later that evening, while lost in a sea of self-pity over the chink in my armor, I came across this quote by young actress and singer Brie Larson.
“Maybe you’re not perfect, but you’re willing to actually look at yourself and take some kind of accountability.”
Yes, the mistake was ultimately mine. But rather than cover it up or try and place blame on someone else, I took responsibility for the error. I’m proud that I held myself accountable for the mistake. I don’t want to be known as someone who’s more concerned with being perceived as “perfect”, than honest and truthful when things don’t work out as planned. Which as we all know is a reality of this life.
There are times in our lives when all of us are reminded of the fact that we’re not perfect. It forces us to refocus our attention – to remember that we should never stray too far away from humility. So many of us loose that when we reach a point in our lives when we provide more answers instead of asking more questions.
And other times – mistakes just happen. It’s not a sign of weakness or inability, it’s a sign of being human.
Ken Poirot once said, “Wisdom comes from life experience; life experience is the result of repeatedly taking corrective action while courageously learning from mistakes.”