Thursday, February 23, 2012

Lesson Learned

We all make mistakes. Some are obviously bigger and more painful than others, of course, but nonetheless, they’re still things we never intentionally set out to cause. Despite the fact that we never intend to mess up, I bet many of you are like me in that you still feel terrible when it happens. Mistakes happen. We should be able to just shrug it off and move onward, right?

Gosh, I wish I were one of those people who could shrug off the missed typo, the burnt steak, or the neglect of not checking my stock positions on the one day I really needed to. Whether small or large, whenever I make a mistake, I never shrug it off. I usually spend way too much time overanalyzing the error of my ways and then come to a similar conclusion every time: find the lesson and move onward.

Last week I caused an unfortunate design mishap to occur. I rushed through a client order and neglected to follow my golden design rule, which is to run it by an objective pair of eyes before sending off to print. Time was of the essence, I was feeling design cocky, and so, I packaged up the files and sent them off to print without my trusted design partner’s eagle eye.

Two days later, the brochures arrived - all five thousand of them with a glaring mistake. I transposed the letter ‘I’ for the letter ‘U’ in a critical context. The letter ‘I’ stood out like a beacon to my stunned eyes. The call to my client was not an easy one. Five thousand brochures later, a simple transposed letter turned into thousands of dollars my department would have to eat. But, hey, mistakes happen, right?

Right, but… this was a mistake that could’ve been easily avoided had I followed my usual system and not been in a rush. Ah ha! The lesson is learned and seared into my brain for now and forever.

Mistakes are painful to make. But, we all make them. Once they’re made, they’re hard to erase. They remain like the ink of a permanent marker. I spent two days shaking my head, sighing, wanting desperately to kick myself for such a silly, costly mistake.

I’ll never make that mistake twice. I learned my lesson. That’s what’s important I think.

Do you try to find the lesson in your mistakes?

Wishing you peace,

I feel it's critical to support the community, and so I've committed to donate a portion of my book sale proceeds to the NOH8 Campaign (

1 comment:

kez said...

Some mistakes help us grow ...