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Sunday, October 25, 2009

I should be able to say it so well

I hereby certify Canfield as genius.

http://bit.ly/2ziSxV HuffPost - Raise Children, Not Flowers!

It's all good, but I excerpted my fave part here. How much have we lost in this world because we are afraid to make a mistake? How much money do companies lose because of zero tolerance to mistakes?

The only way to never make a mistake is to never do anything.

In my storied 56 years, I've been associated with three organizations where the least mistake was not tolerated. Those three organizations were, and still remain, exemplars of dysfuntion. Not one has risen above the squalor of it's self-made mediocrity.

Here we go with my favorite part. Let me encourage you to read the article in it's entirity.
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He responded that, in his opinion, it all came from an experience with his mother, which occurred when he was about two years old. He had been trying to remove a bottle of milk from the refrigerator, when he lost his grip on the slippery bottle and it fell, spilling its contents all over the kitchen floor--a veritable sea of milk! (Thankfully, no glass shattered, but the milk kept flowing out like a river.)

When his mother came into the kitchen, instead of yelling at him, giving him a lecture, or punishing him, she said, "Robert, what a great and wonderful mess you have made! I have rarely seen such a huge puddle of milk. Well, the damage has already been done. Would you like to get down and play in the milk for a few minutes before we clean it up?"

Indeed, he did. After a few minutes his mother said, "You know, Robert, whenever you make a mess like this, eventually you have to clean it up, and restore everything to its proper order. So, how would you like to do that? We could use a sponge, a towel or a mop. What do you prefer?" He chose the sponge and together they cleaned up the spilled milk.

His mother then said, "You know what we have here is a failed experiment in how to effectively carry a big milk bottle with two tiny hands. Let's go out in the back yard and fill the bottle with water and see if you can discover a way to carry it without dropping it." The little boy learned that if he grasped the bottle at the top near the lip with both hands, he could carry it without dropping it. What a wonderful lesson!

This renowned scientist then remarked that it was at that moment he knew he didn't need to be afraid to make mistakes. Instead he learned that mistakes were just opportunities for learning something new, which is, after all, what scientific experiments are all about. They are simply that--just experiments to see what happens. Even if the experiment "doesn't work," we usually learn something valuable from it.


-- Posted from a mobile device

2 comments:

The Crow said...

What a cool story! What a very smart mom, too.

Jim Penny said...

God, could we use more mom's like that one? I suspect there's a little poetic license going on in that remembered story, but I'm willing to go with it.