Yes indeed, I actually left our mini-van at the coffee shop and went home forgetting all about it. No, we don't live within walking distance. I had in my head some previous plan that involved my husband dropping me off in the morning so that he could use the car and our employee Karah driving me home after the meeting. We changed that plan. Somewhere thinking about the webinar I had to finalize for that morning and the list of things I had to do and the writing time that somehow needed to fit in I just wanted to get home and forgot everything else.
We retrieved the van, everything was fine, we all had a great laugh, and now I can never give my husband a hard time about losing his keys. Ever. Again.
Learning to Laugh At Yourself a Hidden Key to Success
You are going to do really ridiculous, silly, and even stupid things sometimes. There are all kinds of ways you can minimize that, but that is a subject for another blog post. Regardless, some things will slip through the cracks.
When they do, it is how you handle it that will make the difference between success and failure. If you have ever forgotten a deadline for a client, missed an exit when you were already late, forgot to save your files and then lost hours of work, then you know what I am talking about.
Here are 3 skills that will allow you to keep going:
1) Learn to laugh at yourself.
Today I was laughing so hard I was almost crying. My once-upon-a-time therapist said that I use humor as a coping mechanism to deal with pain. But seriously, if you need to cope, I can't think of a better way.
It really will seem funnier after the initial repercussions, so try to see that humor now, it helps.
But there are sometimes it really isn't funny. A person got hurt in a real way (sorry, possessions don't count, they can be replaced). That never is a laughing matter. In that case you will have to substitute forgiveness. If your mistake was knowing or intentional then deal with the underlying things that caused you to make that decision so you don't make it again. If it was just an honest mistake, you did the best thing you knew to do at the time given the information you had, then learn, let go, and move on.
2) Be honest
It sucks to tell a client that you forgot something. Or admit to yourself that you made a bad judgement call. But without doing that we start to lose faith in ourselves and others do too. This becomes a downward spiral of rationalization and regret that doesn't allow the learning needed for success. Remember, if you keep making the same mistakes you will never get to any higher level of success than you have right now!
3) Fix it
When things don't go our way it is easy to feel hopeless. We messed up once, we will mess up again, and we are really just colossal failures (clearly) so why even bother trying?
But there is always a way to fix it. Think outside the box for the third, fourth, or one hundredth option if needed.
This is not to be flippant, and some things are irrevocable. But even if we figure out how to not let it happen again that is a step. A big one.
In the case of the van it was really quite simple. Husband get keys, go to coffee shop, get van, bring it home.
Sometimes it will take longer and be harder.
As long as you are still alive you still have an opportunity to make things better.
What Really Matters - In Business and Life
Everything. Doesn't. Matter.
At least not in the same way.
A van is a van is a van. Worst case scenario it gets towed for being without an owner. We go get it. Everything is fine. Or I supposed it could be stolen. Or a tree falls on top of it. But regardless, it is just a hunk of metal.
When you spend too much time stressing about those things what is really valuable slips through the cracks. The people in your life. Your word and integrity in fulfilling promises. Your mission to the world. Those are the things worth getting worked up about. Those are the things worth treating like your life depends on it. Because those are the things that make life matter.
So enough with all the seriousness. Help me feel better here. Let me know the most outrageous thing you ever lost or forgot in the comments.