I started to add a daily coping tip to the SQLServerCentral newsletter and to the Community Circle, which is helping me deal with the issues in the world. I’m adding my responses for each day here.
Today’s tip is to accept your mistakes as a way of helping you make progress.
We all make mistakes. I coach kids, I work with less experienced people, and I have kids. In all cases, mistakes are what help us learn. I can tell you lots about how to do things, but some of the attempts you make to build something result in mistakes. The key is to learn from them.
We always tell programmers to try things. It’s frustrating to have sites like mine (SQLServerCentral), Stack Overflow, etc. that allow people to get code without testing or learning. Lots of people do still test and experiment, but it seems many also just want code they can cut/paste.
Enough of a soapbox. For me, I’ve forgotten to tackle tasks, or done them poorly. I write typos and mistakes and they get published regularly. I’d like to think not too often, but they happen.
When they do, I have learned to stop and not chastise myself or feel I’ve failed. Instead, I try to identify why something went wrong and then think about it how I might change that in the future. A couple examples.
I had a busy weekend, with my son coming home for a few days. Schedules misaligned, and we ended up not being able to get together for a family celebration until Monday night. We weren’t out too late, but the busy, long weekend, a hard day at the gym Monday and then the night had me tired. I had a horrible night’s sleep and ended up missing a meeting in the am. Partly I overslept, and I mis-read the time, so dragging myself to an 8:00am meeting at 7:59am felt fine. The problem was the meeting started at 7:30am, and I had another one at 8.
I apologized, but I also went back and thought about what went wrong. Really, I should have double checked the time. I might have still missed it, but I could have been better prepared. It happens, and I can move on.
A second example had me telling my wife that I would stop at the store for something. I forgot and came home. Home is 12 miles from the store, and a 20minute drive both ways. I got home, realized, and turned around to go back. A waste of time, money, gas, etc. because I didn’t add an item to a list. Rather than complain, or try to get out of going back, or anything else, I worked to correct the mistake right then.
It’s an honest mistake, but one I need to own and be more careful about how I manage supplies when living in the country. No reason to get upset, just learn and move on.