November 15, 2010

One day an extremely upset newspaper subscriber stormed into a newspaper office waving the current edition, asking to see “whoever wrote the obituary column”.

When referred to a young reporter, he stormed, “You can see I’m very much alive, and you’ve put me in the obituary column! I demand a retraction!”

Replied the reporter, “I never retract a story but I tell you what I’ll do. I’ll put you in the birth column and give you a fresh start.”

Have you ever met people like these?

I certainly have.

Some people will never admit their mistakes and worst, some people will never want to correct their mistakes the proper way.

Have you ever committed mistakes in your life?

You’re probably thinking, “What a stupid question, of course I have.”

Well now that you have admitted you’re committing mistakes from time to time, how do you deal with your mistakes?

Mistakes that offend others, you have to be big and courageous enough to admit your mistake and make amends. But mistakes that you have done to yourself… think through them and learn from them. Mistakes are experiences in life that teach us lessons and make us wiser over time but the key thing here is that we have to learn from them.

When people say, “Experience is the best teacher….” I smile because I know this is not true. Only evaluated experience is the best teacher. As a people, we keep on making the same mistakes year in and year out because we have never taken the time to evaluate the experience, learn from it and resolve to correct it.

Smart people learn from their mistakes. But here is another thing to consider.

Smarter people learn from the mistakes of others.

Somebody says mistakes are mistakes but it’s a question of perspectives and it depends on how you really look at it.

Consider the following:

  • If a barber makes a mistake, it’s a new style…
  • If a driver makes a mistake, it is an accident…
  • If an engineer makes a mistake, It is a new venture…
  • If parents make a mistake, it is a new generation…
  • If a politician makes a mistake, it is a new law…
  • If a scientist makes a mistake, it is a new invention…
  • If a tailor makes a mistake, it is a new fashion…
  • If a teacher makes a mistake, it is a new theory…
  • If our boss makes a mistake, it is our mistake……
  • If an employee makes a mistake, It is a “MISTAKE”

I have committed a lot of mistakes in my life and some of them not very smart but most of them offered lessons I have learned from and has helped me a lot in my life and career today.

Some people cuss and some people curse when they make a mistakes but most people say: “oops!”

I do. But there are people I am sure you would not want to hear say “oops! From:”

  1. Your surgeon.
  2. Your dentist.
  3. Your nurse.
  4. Your hairdresser.
  5. Your mechanic.
  6. Your tax accountant.
  7. The computer tech person.
  8. The house painter, plumber or electrician.
  9. The pilot.

You know you are growing and you know you are learning if you are making new mistakes. The key word here is “NEW.” But if you are committing the same kind of mistakes then YOU ARE THE MISTAKE!

Learn from the mistakes of others – you can never live long enough to make them all yourself.

CICERO, the Roman statesman and philosopher, wrote the following some 2,000 years ago: THE SIX FATAL MISTAKES OF MAN:

1. The delusion that personal gain is made by crushing others;

2. The tendency to worry about things that cannot be changed or corrected;

3. Insisting that a thing is impossible because we cannot accomplish it;

4. Refusing to set aside trivial preferences;

5. Neglecting development and refinement of the mind, and not acquiring the habit reading and studying;

6. Attempting to compel others to believe and live as we do.

Welcome mistakes. They are our friends but they should also be our teachers.

Accept them and do not defend them.

Elbert Hubbard says it best: “The greatest mistake a man can make is to be afraid to make one.”

This Post Has 17 Comments

  1. Akihito Ban

    Hi, Sir Francis. That was an enlightening article, as always. Thank you so much for this! God bless! ^^


    “The greatest mistake a man can make is to be afraid to make one.”- makes a lot of common sense.. 🙂 Thanks Sir Francis this is so absolutely real, it is a matter of failing forward. God Bless! & More power…:)


    “The greatest mistake a man can make is to be afraid to make one.”- makes a lot of common sense.. Thanks Sir Francis this is so absolutely real, it is a matter of failing forward. God Bless! & More power…:)

  4. Malvin

    So, this is what on earth are mistakes for. 🙂 Mistakes are unintentional acts with clear intentions to teach us a lesson. Without it, life would be perfect and we wouldn’t know the real definition of grace and humility.

    Thank you for inspiring my day.

  5. nandy elbinias

    Thank you so much Sir Francis! Everytime I read your articles, it hits me and enlightens me. God Bless and More Power!

  6. ally

    i really like the way you write it inspires me a lot thanks sir francis

  7. amie

    Thanks you .. It will surely help me in dealing things correctly…GOd bless you may u continue inspiring people…

  8. Melvin Molina

    Bravo! Bravo! You never failed each and everyone to inspire and learn brand new things. Kudos Mr. Francis. I’m a big fan! =D

  9. bravhart_19

    sir, im sure your gift to inspire and motivate us is not a mistake…
    God Bless!!! Thanks for wonderful article..

    “Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new.”- A. Einstein

  10. Honey May O. Colaljo

    …when I commit mistake I will say “alleluia” and it corrects the mistake….and changes everything…

  11. Edilberto Cunanan

    Aceptance of mistake is the process of learning.

  12. lourdes mastrili

    thank you for your very inspirational articles, Sir Francis…I hope EVERYBODY reads them and be enlightened…more power and God bless!!!!!!! i read your columns, too.

    1. Francis Kong

      thanks so much Lourdes. I really appreciate your kind comments and encouragements.

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