Monday, April 27, 2009

Today I made a fortune...

Some of you may be familiar with an article that I wrote recently titled “Why Mistakes Are Good for Us”. It was posted here on my blog and several other places around the Internet. There is also a chapter in my book, The Path to Freedom, which many of you have read that covers the same topic.

In the article, I talk about how mistakes are valuable lessons that help us grow and make us who we are - I suggest that we should learn to simply view mistakes as neutral experiences that we can deposit into our knowledge-bank account and watch as our wealth of wisdom gradually grows every time we make a mistake.
Well, today I really got to prove to myself that I am able to practice what I preach!

I was participating in a speech contest. I had chosen to use the “Mistakes” article as the basis for my speech. Obviously I’m used to speaking and I really enjoy it. I rarely get nervous and overall I feel very comfortable on the platform. This is generally a good thing when you are a speaker. When it’s not so good is when you become so used to doing what you do that you begin to think that you can get away with murder...

This afternoon, I made quite a few mistakes. The biggest one was that I stopped paying attention and allowed myself to run on autopilot. Now, sometimes autopilot works – but often the battery gets so drained that the power fails. That’s what happened to me today. I experienced a complete system failure…Why? Because my system was totally overloaded. My head was in a hundred different places at once, and I wasn’t able to hold a single thought long enough for it to manifest into anything coherent or useful at all.

Sometimes we need to sit back, take a deep breath and simply allow our batteries to charge. We need to listen and pay attention when our entire being is screaming at us to SLOW DOWN!!! Are all of those tasks on the to-do list really dead necessary!? Do we really need to grasp at any opportunity that comes our way?

There’s nothing wrong with saying no. It’s OK to admit that there are limits to how much we can take on and cope with at one time. If we spread ourselves too thin, the things and maybe even the people that matter the most to us may suffer. If we try to do too many things at once, chances are that none of them will get the care and attention they deserve – none of them will get done properly. And there’s nothing more frustrating than not doing your best or being the best that you know you can be.

Today, I was reminded how important it is to stay present and stay in the natural flow of things. And I was certainly reminded that no matter how experienced and well trained we are, falling asleep behind the wheel is not a good option – you might steer yourself straight into the ditch!

I made several mistakes during my two presentations – I was counting them as I went along – and I was humored by the irony of the situation. I was swallowing pill after pill of my own medicine. I didn’t just speak about mistakes – I got to make a great example of my own words right there and then.

Were the mistakes good for me? You bet. The contest that I was participating in wasn’t all that important. It was all good fun and pretty relaxed, so no real harm done. But in a couple of weeks I have a really important gig. I suspect that if it hadn’t been for today’s disastrous performance on my part, I would have simply continued full speed ahead down the same road to overload disaster. But I won’t do that now.

Today’s toe-cringing experience served as a stark reminder that no matter how much I would like to think so, I am not invincible. And you know what – that’s okay. I won’t knock myself on the head. To use my own words; I will “simply smile and be happy that today I just made a huge deposit in my experience account!” I will think about how rich I am, and how much more I can now afford to share with others.

The article referred to above was posted on http://suzannrye.blogspot.com/ March 28, 2009.

To your Joy and Success!

Suzann