Recording "Lessons Learned the Hard Way"

We all screw up… sometimes we do it again and again. It’s ok.

But in that moment when I’m feeling the pain and the shame of yet another blunder, it’s pretty easy to forget.

It’s easy to forget that mistakes are a sign that you’re stretching yourself. That they are stepping stones to mastery.

That’s why I started keeping an ongoing record of lessons learned the hard way. Now, each time I screw up, instead of stewing in agony, I pull it out and add yet another thing to the list.

When I see the list, I see how far I’ve come. I remember that from each bitter experience, I always came out stronger. Some items are funny, when seeing them in retrospect. Others, not so much.

But each time I add one, I take comfort in the fact that by recording this particular mistake, it’ll be reviewed and remembered, making me less likely to repeat it. And as time passes, the list reflects the wisdom of difficult lessons learned. It’s a source of pride. A trophy.

My mistakes are my opportunities to learn.