Over the past few days I’ve had time to reflect on a handful of thoughts from our Express International Leadership Conference. Throughout the event there were many moments in which I was able to learn from others, share knowledge with others, and celebrate with everyone. As I’ve spent time thinking about those many great conversations there’s a common theme that I’d kept coming back to, but I couldn’t quite put my finger on it.
In preparation for our annual Suer Saturday I came across a reminder of a video of Inky Johnson we used last year. Long story short, Inky was a projected first round draft pick who was injured in one of the last games of his senior season. The injury almost killed him and left one of his arms paralyzed. The essence of the quick video I watched was that of Inky discussing how if he knew how things would work out he wouldn’t change anything.
The video helped me link up what I’d been trying to connect in my head for the past few days. All of the mistakes I’ve made helped get me to where I am. Sure, mistakes suck and in moment feel awful, but as long as I can remember to learn from them and not make them again they are a very positive thing. They help create me, adjust my direction, and and help lead me to success.
Many of the conversations this weekend included one version or another of the same phrase… “boy did I ever learn the hard way that doesn’t work, so then I tried this…”. I was on both the receiving and giving end of this phrase many times. In this phrase I found something that I’ll remember to be thankful for in the moment more often.
I will not fail because of my mistakes. I will be successful because I try new things and learn from my mistakes. In the face of each mistake I will remember to forgive myself, learn, and move forward stronger and armed with more knowledge of how to be successful.
When I pause and think of all of the mistakes that led to our successes this year I can’t help but smile. In several cases I felt ready to throw in the towel and quit, but I didn’t. I learned from the mistakes and found ways to improve. Behind the smiles on in our awards pictures are many mistakes that were made, learned from and that provided more strength and determination to lead to the success.
It’s frustrating when I make a mistake, but I’m thankful for each of them.