Inspiration · Leadership

Mistakes oft repeated

Paolo Coelho suggests “a mistake repeated more than once is a decision.” And he’s definitely on to something.

Of course, sometimes mistakes are an intentional part of our path toward learning, innovation, growth. That’s called experimentation–and if failure is not an option then neither is success.

On the other hand, when we repeat destructive–or just plain foolish–behaviors, it’s often our unconscious habits taking over. The key here is mindful awareness and realizing that our fear doesn’t have to rule the roost. We always have a choice.

I like what Portia Nelson has to say about this in her “Autobiography In Five Short Chapters”

Chapter One

I walk down the street.

There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.

I fall in.

I am lost . . . I am helpless.

It isn’t my fault . . .

It takes forever to find a way out.

Chapter Two

I walk down the same street.

There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.

I pretend I don’t see it.

I fall in again.

I can’t believe I am in this same place.

But it isn’t my fault.

It still takes a long time to get out.

Chapter Three

I walk down the same street.

There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.

I see it there.

I still fall . . . it’s a habit . . . but,

My eyes are open.

I know where I am.

It is my fault.

I get out immediately.

Chapter Four

I walk down the same street.

There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.

I walk around it.

Chapter Five

I walk down another street.

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