Oops! and Mistakes!

June 25, 2009

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.”

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 20 Comments

  1. Dax R. Estorioso

    Nice blog, sir!

  2. ron cabral

    This article reminds me the book “Failing Forward” by John Maxwell.

  3. Mae Pornobi

    Great to read this article. This is exactly what I need!

    Thanks Sir Francis!

  4. Benedict Japhet


    Good article.

  5. hungry mind

    now I know why Mr. Francis Kong smile everytime he hear someone say “experience is the best teacher” cause its not the experience it’s the “mistakes”. heheheheheeee it should be “Mistakes is the best teacher”. this is also the same with Albert Einstein’s quotation “Anyone who has never made a mistake, never tried something new. I like this post. thank you Sir Francis.

  6. Roy

    I love this!

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

    I’m adding it my collection of quotes 😉

    as they say, it is always wiser to learn from the mistakes of others

  7. Ron

    Yeah! Just like my namesake said, Sir Francis reminds me of John Maxwell. I really like John Maxwell books. I really learn something from him.

    Sir France continue to spread inspiring stories and about finances. I’m always watching UKG and I really learn from you about finances.

  8. Cindy

    ever since i attended one of your seminars at my mom’s office,, i started to read your books, this really helps me alot in relieving myself from stress… thanks to you,, Mr. Kong

  9. Jeffrey

    I like this:

    # If our boss makes a mistake, it is our mistake……
    # If an employee makes a mistake, It is a “MISTAKE”

    Makes me wonder how my boss got to his possition…

    Nice Blog, very inspiring..

  10. Michelle

    Sir, thank you!

  11. ces

    wow!!! what an eye opener…thanks sir Francis!

  12. aris

    Well, i can relate to this article ‘ cause i have just made a mistake at work this morning…hope I can resolve this tomorrow with my supervisor..

    Hope everything will be fine..

    God bless Mr. Kong!


  13. George Ong

    We are allowed to commit one mistake of each kind in our entire life. No need to repeat. Ü

  14. Red

    Ops…. i missed this article last june… thanks for linking back…. =) Thank you Sir Francis!

  15. Sandy Estrada

    Thank you, Mr. Kong for sending me your articles. God bless you and your family.

  16. Daisy

    Thank you!

  17. richel mae distrito

    fantastic po kuya francis!!

  18. nina

    hi mr kong,

    thank you for this email. everybody commits mistakes, but one should learn from them and move on.

    God bless and more power.

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