“Would you like me to give you a formula for success?
It is quite simple really.

Double your rate of failure

You’re thinking of failure as the enemy of success. But it isn’t at all … You can be discouraged by failure – or you can learn from it. So go ahead and make mistakes. Make all you can. Because, remember that is where you will find success. On the far side.”

Thomas J. Watson
Founder and Chairman of IBM

Clients have often related to me over the years their frustration with either themselves or a staff member not being able to get the job done perfectly.

Mistakes are very difficult for some people to accept. These people can become highly stressed at times just thinking about the possibility that they will not complete a task perfectly.
Over the years I have found some clients have been somewhat surprised when I told them that we have always encouraged those who work with us to make mistakes.

Making a mistake places you on the LEARNING TEAM and enables you to grow and stretch as you explore new ground and new boundaries.

The exception to the ‘mistake rule’ is that it’s definitely not smart to continue to repeat the same mistake.
“Letting go of control is letting everyone make mistakes”. ANON.

To further understand the personal growth potential of mistakes, we need to explore the paradox of …



  • can be boring
  • is high, high stress
  • never allows one to be any better
  • is always right, often dead right! (Graveyards are full of people who were right about something once)
  • means one punishes oneself for not achieving
  • means one punishes those around you
  • is anorexic to the soul ( Is it a coincidence that physical anorexia is so often tied in with perfectionism?)


  • is exciting
  • is low stress
  • is growth oriented
  • is rewarding
  • allows one to be a little better in some way next time

As John Wooden said…

“It’s what you learn after you know it all, that counts.”

In a world of excellence where mistakes are an accepted way of life on the road to success, and personal growth is part of your daily mind food diet, MIRACLES somehow just seem to find their way to you.

I suggest you start a low stress diet today and create your ‘Miracle Journal’ and record the miracles, no matter how small, that occur in your life each day.

Comment ( 1 )

  • Phillip Ebrall

    So very true. How much better would our university education be is this approach prevailed.

    A demand for ‘perfection’ often equates to a ‘fit the box’ regime which not only destroys creativity, but also increases stress because ‘the box’ is so often poorly defined.

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