Each of us at one time or another has thought about how wonderful it would be to have as much foresight as hindsight. Then we could avoid making mistakes! Not only is that hope unrealistic, it's also unwise. Mistakes are often the springboard for major accomplishments. Here's a good example:

Thomas Edison was working with a lab assistant who was coming up dry after over 700 experiments. In discouragement, the assistant told Edison that after all these mistakes, errors, and false starts, he simply didn't believe that the project was valid. Edison quickly told him that he wasn't wasting his time and that the assistant now knew more about the project than anybody alive. Edison wisely observed that the assistant hadn't made mistakes but instead had acquired an education as to what didn't work. Needless to say, the assistant went back to his project with renewed vigor.

If you take Edison's approach to life, you end up accomplishing much, much more. You need to understand that after every mistake you can look back and grow from the experience so that you can move forward with confidence and avoid making the same mistake again.

Here are three tips for handling a mistake, either at home or work:

1. Don't let a mistake depress or discourage you. See a mistake as a step on the road to a solution. Realize that depression and discouragement are negatives that limit the future.

2. Admit the mistake. Yes, admitting your mistakes takes courage, but recognition of errors is a sign of maturity. Not to recognize them is to deny them, and denial limits your future.

3. Understand that when you confront your mistakes, you can take full advantage of them as the positive experiences they can be. When you ignore mistakes or try to conceal them, they almost always have a negative impact.

. . . Adapted from Success For Dummies by Zig Ziglar. Look for this book at your favorite online or offline bookstore! Success For Dummies is one of the Fastest selling books in the DUMMIES series.

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