familiar with the joke about
the woman - a mother in law - who has a son and son in law who can
only find work for a half a day? About her son she says, "He knows
how to relax;" about her son in law, "He's lazy."
Or maybe you
know the father whose son gets
into a huge fist fight in school. Regardless of the outcome of the
fight, or who started it, the 'verdict' is the same. His son was
defending himself; the other boy is a bully.
I once worked
on a project with someone who
lived by Rudyard Kipling's motto:
"I never made
a mistake in my life; at least, never one that I couldn't explain
This might seem
to be an admirable trait to
some people, but this attitude does not help to get anything
accomplished. He only used this motto to explain away his
blunders, which just had to be explained and cleared up; yet,
my mistakes were always of catastrophic nature that could
never be explained away no matter what.
I find it an
interesting part of human
nature that many people view their own gaffes as misunderstandings;
while the mistakes of others are always just that - mistakes.
Without taking a step back and using the same positive judgment for
others as we use on ourselves we end up seeing the actions of others
in a negative light.
they are of a public nature, but there are certain positive points
about making them. One is that if you made an error you were
probably actually trying to accomplish something. If you weren't
doing anything you probably would not have stumbled and blundered.
It's easy to stop making
mistakes. Just stop having ideas.(SOURCE
don't take risks and don't go
out on a limb are less prone to bungling because they are in a
safety zone - one that allows them to view and criticize from the
side lines those who actually venture out to do things.
A mistake at least proves
that somebody stopped talking long enough to DO something.
Those who are
critical of others, but excuse
their own errors, don't realize that pointing out the mistakes of
others, stems from resentment and enviousness. If one does not
admit their own blunders they don't end up learning from them.
would learn from their mistakes if they weren't so busy denying
Often the greatest
inventions and creations were
the product of someone blowing it,
admitting the slipup and trying to make the best of it. First a
mistake has to be acknowledged - not hidden and excused - before it
can be repaired and worked with.
The difference between
greatness and mediocrity is often how an individual views a
can't tell you that I have
great advice for someone who is critical of others but not
themselves, other than that they should work on being more objective
about their own errors and on seeing others in a more positive
I have made
mistakes, but I never made the mistake of claiming that I never made
Perhaps instead of living by
Rudyard Kipling's quote we should live by a quote by Dr. Alsaker,
which is: "We
should be lenient in our judgment, because often the mistakes of
others would have been ours had we had the opportunity to make
The greatest mistake you
can make in life is to be continually fearing that you will make