When Things Go Wrong
What to learn when things go wrong --lots! All of us have faced moments when things going wrong many times over. However, when things go wrong in our personal life, in our business and in relationships we can choose how we respond. It can feel devastating, yet there are also many principles we can learn.
Looking (way!) back on some of my dating situations in my 20’s, even though I was pursuing a permanent relationship at one point, I was pretty much done with men. I wondered Why is nothing working out? It feels like I’m never going to meet someone who I’d like to spend the rest of my life with! The guys I liked weren’t really interested in me and the opposite was also true—I wasn’t interested I them! Or—they were exciting and fun, but were going nowhere in life. However, as I look back, when everything seemed to go wrong, it was really going right! I am truly thankful for some of the relationships that didn’t work out! I’m sure many of you can relate!
The difficult part is living through some of those tough times when you feel like there’s no way out and no answers! But there’s usually always something we can learn. We’re going first approach the attitude of a lifelong learner. We tend to take ourselves so seriously, but if we step back, we can usually see circumstances and life as a whole from a different and even more healthy perspective and even learn from the experience.
A Healthy Perspective
My sons definitely continue to add good dose of reality in my life. I’ve told the story often that I homeschooled our three sons. (four years apart!) I actually survived doing this for three years until our middle son did me in. Why was this? He would get all his work done, then spend the rest of the day bugging me. Now, I love him dearly-don’t get me wrong! He’s actually an attorney today, so he went in the perfect field for his temperament! But who knew I’d be arguing with a first-grade attorney? Many days I definitely felt things were going wrong! However, I learned how you can work right along-side the schools, which I did, and about the great communities and stories of success coming that come from homeschooling.
My sons and I have a great relationship today and it’s mostly the memories of when things go wrong that keeps us laughing as the stories usually grow each time they’re told! To add one more note, they ended up way ahead of their class, especially in the area of phonics, which they had basically taken out of the schools. Those years were well-worth the effort!
When I was first married, I wanted to be great in the kitchen. Both of my sisters are great cooks and one of them subscribed to the magazine Bon Appetit. I was always so impressed. She’d make these amazing recipes and I started dreaming of doing the same. One day, I decided to make a very special dessert for company coming over that evening. I followed every step very carefully. Realize, this was a full day project—once I started I could not quit! After putting the special concoction in the oven, I started whipping the cream. Oops…you know what happens to whipped cream when you whip it too long? Yes, it turns to butter! By then, the special desert had actually melted down in the oven and didn’t look like the picture at all. I then decided to buy ready-made whipped cream and smothered the chocolate fantasy with dollops of white cream so no one would see what a mess it was. Even though it was definitely an illustration of when things go wrong, it still tasted good so it was right in many ways! By the way, I have never attempted another recipe from Bon Appetit but my homemade apple pie is to die for! My lesson? Don’t be afraid to try new things, but don’t spend long on areas that won’t be sustainable!
When things go wrong in our businesses, it definitely doesn’t feel right. Looking back when my website was hacked, it was a horrible, stressful and invasive feeling. At first, I tried my best to fix it. I studied code and discovered how to get on the back end of pages of code to see what was going on. (Yes, I’m a nerd!) I soon realized fixing it was out of my league and I did not want to spend any more time trying to get it done. So I hired qualified help. This is an important principle for all of us when things go wrong. Get good help! After hiring a qualified team, my whole website was relaunched and scrubbed of the virus that had spread on every page. Hiring good help has been a learning lesson I revisit over and over and has paid off in droves!
Opportunities, Decisions and Choices
When at the halftime of life or a career, there may be numerous opportunities providing time for decisions and choices. Second-guessing what to do and keeping things from going wrong is not always possible. If stepping out to start a new career or even side business (see side business template) there is usually hesitancy and even fear that things could go wrong. This is why equipping ourselves in the best way possible helps to minimize those times when things go wrong. Defining our transferable skills that are valuable and marketable is absolutely essential, but few take the time to do this. (Get your FREE transferable skills worksheet & quiz!) We live in a competitive market and understanding the value of our skills is extremely beneficial.
I married a professional athlete and we both come from a high level of competition and understand it well. There is a certain mindset of winning, but sometimes winning is also coming in second place. By competing, you have accomplished a great deal by implementing goals and a system that have helped you push to a higher level. You have not lost! (see The Good and Bad of Competition) In the same way, after evaluating your transferable, marketable skills, you gain so much more than you can imagine!
Four Things to Learn when Things Go Wrong
Four Things to Learn When Things Go Wrong
ONE: When things go wrong, keep the attitude of a Lifelong Learner. Decide what to do and what not to do. I decided not to be a gourmet cook or to spend a whole lot of time on the back end of code.
TWO: When things go wrong, don’t take yourself too seriously. When things felt like they were going wrong with my homeschooling experience, looking back, many things also went right. Our sons came out ahead in many areas, including phonics, the arts and other areas. Count your experiences as a great valuable asset.
THREE: When things go wrong, don’t hesitate to try new things, but focus! This also takes analyzing areas that are not best for you. This is especially relevant at halftime to evaluate your valuable transferable skills. (make sure you get the download and take the quiz!)
FOUR: When things go wrong, keep laughing. Gather those around you, whether family, friends or colleagues, to keep a healthy perspective and reflect on the funny. Life is short and with a good sense of hindsight, often humorous! There are many studies that confirm that laughter is great medicine!
My wish for you is that many things go right, but realize there will be many more times when things go wrong. The main lesson is to persevere, laugh, learn and enjoy each day for truly, living is a gift!