Everybody makes mistakes.
Successful people make mistakes. Lots of them. You’ve heard all the clichés about that.
Unsuccessful people make mistakes too. In fact, I’m not certain there’s a big difference in the number of mistakes successful people make versus the number unsuccessful people make.
But if there isn’t a noticeable difference in amount, there certainly is in kind.
Mistakes made attempting new things are part of success. Mistakes made executing established things eventually lead to decline.
And that, it seems to me, is a key difference between the mistakes people who thrive tend to make and the mistakes people who are stuck tend to make.
Growing people make most of their errors while reaching toward new ground. Stagnant people make most of their errors on the same ground they’ve been inhabiting for months… years… even decades.
When our 11 year old headed into middle school, we expected her to struggle a little the first few weeks. She had a new environment, schedule, and level of expectations to contend with. She was bound to make some mistakes. We weren’t too concerned.
We would have been if she were 17 and smart enough to succeed, but re-doing 5th grade for the seventh time instead.
Some of us make the mistake of saying the wrong thing while on a date with our spouse. It happens to everyone. But some of us make the mistake of not scheduling a date night, again and again. Two different kinds of mistakes: one is recoverable; the other in the long run is not. One is made on the way to a stronger bond; the other on the way to a deepening distance.
Some of us make the mistake of getting busy and missing one of our exercise days. Some of us make the mistake of not exercising. Two different kinds of mistakes: one is made on the way to health; the other on the way to heart disease. (Okay, that was blunt: but I needed to hear it.)
Some of us make the mistake of cheering too loudly for our kids at their soccer game. Some of us make the mistake of dropping them off so we can go do something else. Two different kinds of mistakes: one is made on the way to a greater respect for our kids’ unique personality, the other on the way to forfeiting a meaningful relationship with them.
Some of us will make the mistake of only being finished 80% of the one year Bible plan we committed to when December 31st rolls around. Some of us will have made the mistake of not reading the Bible. Two different kinds… well, I think it’s starting to sink in.
What kind of mistakes do you tend to make? Errors that accompany a passionate reach for greater connection, health, and spiritual vitality? Or blunders that arise from passively struggling to execute the basics of your relationships, fitness, and disciplines?
Go make some mistakes today. Just not the same old ones.