Making Mistakes and Recovery

Dear Boys,

It is a given, we will make mistakes. What matters more is how we recover from them, that will define who we are.

There are a few kinds of mistakes we will in life.

1-People gets hurt as a direct consequence of our mistakes

2-Things/tasks are not done timely, resulting in miss opportunities, failure to achieve goals/ deadlines

3-Errors as a result of poor performance due to lacking in training, skillset or knowledge

Generally these are the few, there may be more, out there, but the feeling arises from such incidents is one of embarrassment, regret, anger, disappointment, and you will be compelled to take certain actions to remedy these ‘mistakes’ or ‘failures’.

Apologise

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If your mistakes or failure resulted in people getting hurt. The impact is direct and you can see it, like you spilled hot liquid onto a person (never mind you like or dislike that individual!), you should say ‘Sorry!’ without hesitation.

Our goal in life is not to hurt people, unless it was purely pre-meditated or there is a specific purpose in doing so. Otherwise, if our actions unwittingly brought about pain and suffering on people, we must respond with remorse. Apologize first, then we can follow up to make things right.

For missed goals/deadlines

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This one is a bit tricky, as there will be a rolling, long-term impact with unintended consequences for a missed schedule. Sometimes there is nothing else you can do; the boat has sailed. You can sulk and look stupid, or you can scour around to try and remedy it.

Look for solutions, and negotiate to minimize the loss. Communicate and acknowledge your lapse if possible, demonstrating your willingness to take responsibility for the misjudgment and desire to make things right.

Lacking that skills, knowledge or training

Well, it happens, we are no rocket scientists, and when we are forced to build a rocket, our ignorance will show. What you made might look amateurish and you’ll get negative publicity and opinions about it. In this case, there is nothing else you can do but to know that you are pitted against a very steep learning curve.

Own the difficult tasks and set out to learn as much as you possibly can so that you can do as good a job as you possibly can with what little you know. It will be nowhere near good, but you must try.

Sitting around moping that you don’t know what you don’t know will not help, get up and ask for help. Start asking questions, be the noob, the newbie, and people will come to your aid. When they do collaborate with them, and learn as much as you can.

Sometimes the knowledge you get, might be incomplete, that is where you will need to take a gut check and fill in the blanks yourself, and connect the dots, hoping that it works. Doing things the first time can be stressful and the outcome might be less that satisfactory, what will make it worse is you dragging your sorry butt telling the world how unfair that you are given such a insurmountable task and lament about it.

Learning point is everywhere

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You learn the most when you fail, but people will not teach you about your attitude towards failure. Instinctively we will start to look for excuses as to why it didn’t work out, our ego will come to our protection, so that we can still retain some level of pride and save ourselves some embarrassment.

Be reasonable, instead of excusable, if you find reasons for your failures, you will be able to find ways to make yourself better. Reasons are fact based, and people can see you making efforts to correct your mistakes, and learn from it. Excuses are story based, and similarly, people can see how you try to weasel your way out of your own failures.

Reasons makes you work hard to better yourself, and learn from your mistakes. Excuses strengthen your own denial and you’ll learn how to cover up your mistakes.

Apologizing- Wayne’s version

Apologizing- Wayne’s version

Dear Wayne,

In my earlier Q&A (Quarrel and Arguments) post, I asked you to apologize to 哥哥 because you started the argument first.

As the youngest member in our family, you will invariably do more apologizing than the rest of us. Cognitively you are still developing and learning the social ropes in the family, there are still rules and protocols that you might not be familiar with. In conversation, you sometimes forget to take turns in talking and interrupt at the wrong time. There are also life skills, concepts and ideas that are too mature for you to learn and you will offend us, or upset us ever so often.

Bad about Feeling Bad

You can’t be help it but feel kinda crappy at times, being the ‘loser’ who have to say sorry more often than us. Sometimes your 12 year-old perception of things simply doesn’t bode well for your argument and your reasoning sometimes is just…unreasonable.

I remembered vividly when you were much younger, we have to force you to admit that you are wrong and apologize. You did apologize, but I can tell you were going through the motion, as you are still unsure what you did wrong and why you are apologizing for.

You will feel bad, and I can accept that, but I don’t want you to stop trying, testing and pushing your arguments. While many a times it is outright wrong; sometimes, you got it right, and gave us a fresh new perspective on how things should be handled.

Growing Pains

So keep trying, because you are the smallest in the family, everyone and everything looks larger than life, you want to puff yourself up and felt measured, you want to be counted, as part of the ‘big people club’, making mistakes and pissing people off. Your best intentions often leads to unintended consequences.

My brother & I

This is part of being the newest kid in the block. I was also the youngest in my family and I too have such challenges, although I wasn’t able to figure it out until I was much, much older. It can be tough being the youngest because we always feel a constant need to fight for attention, fight for our voices to be heard.

There are times where my opinions are not take seriously, because people thinks that because I am the youngest, my opinions will not be considered. Or people will say things like: ‘Kids, be seen, not heard!’ I’m sure you felt that to many times, and I hope our efforts to reason and argue with you, make you see the flaws of your own arguments, help you build better premises and assumption.

You are the only one who got this Award

You are not Stupid

Apologizing more often don’t mean that you are stupid, an self depreciating assumption you make about yourself, thinking that everyone is smarter than you. It’s stupid to feel that you are stupid when you are not stupid. You are still learning from trial and error, our feedback and reasoning to build better and stronger reasoning, in the end of it, you will become the smarter of all of us, because your learning curve is steeper, you have to swim faster to catch up with us.

Right now, your brother is already somewhat completed his ‘O’ levels, his knows physics, chemistry and all those secondary school things. You don’t and you always look up to him and marveled at his level of knowledge, thinking how smart your 哥哥 is; you are also smart, just not as smart as a 16 year old.

You fail to take reference to your younger peers, are they as smart as you?

We are not asking you to compare, although you always try to measure up to your nearest competitor, your 哥哥. It’s pointless, we keep saying to you, just be the best version of yourself and we love you just as much. You are original and authentic in your own way. You have a take-no-prisoners, don’t give a rat’s ass attitude, which is unique to you. That is fine, that will also means you will offend people, which is fine, just learn from it apologize and reconcile with the hurt you sometimes unwittingly caused.