Don’t Do That!

Don’t you think it’s interesting how we learn?

For example, we often learn how to do something, by first learning how NOT to do it.

I find myself, today, thinking back to my childhood. You see, I recently moved into a new house, and for the first time became a home owner. If you are a homeowner, you might remember what those first few weeks felt like. You are overcome with excitement and pride, and then as the walls become more familiar, their hidden secrets start to slowly emerge. Replacing appliances, fixing the faucet, replacing screens or windows etc. All things that have to happen, and yet, sometimes you are not equipped to handle them.

This got me thinking back to my childhood. I’m going to be a little personal here,w ay more than before, so bear with me. I can’t really say that my father taught me anything. I lost a connection with him at a young age, and it was only a few years later when I lost him completely. Growing up, I didn’t really have that father figure who could teach me how to use tools, or show me how to change the oil in my car, or even put something up on the wall. So needless to say, that I am a homeowner, I have a lot to learn.

Thankfully, my wife has a very handy father who has gladly taken us both into his personal care and has been aiding us in all kinds of odd jobs. That’s what dads should do! (If they have the skill set of course).

All of this to say — I think about our work lives. I think about our responsibilities and how we get things accomplished. Sometimes there is a ‘tried and true’ method which shouldn’t change. Other times it can be more explorative as we uncover the different ways in which we can complete certain tasks.

Almost all of us are going to want to find the ‘right’ way immediately and stick to it. As odd as this sounds — Don’t Do It! I know I am sounding a little crazy at the moment, but I can explain myself!

If we found the correct way right out of the gate, what have we learned? Did we get lucky? Is it really that simple?

What if instead, it took a few, a lot, forever… to figure out the best practice, to figure out the “Standard” approach? We will for sure learn, we will have experience, and we will have knowledge and wisdom to share with others. I’m not telling you to never get it right. (People often get fired for that!) But I am telling you to not be afraid of trying and failing; because in reality, you haven’t failed. You have merely experienced a way in which to not get the results you need or want. This in itself is a valuable lesson. Sooner or later, someone else is going to step into shoes that you once filled, and they are going to possibly make the same mistake you did. Except now – you can be there to guide them. You will be there to Lead them into success.

So like the title says – Don’t Do That! Don’t take the quickest, easiest path all the time. Sometimes, you need to skin your knees, brush off the dust and learn a little before you can really say you’re the person with the knowledge and wisdom.


These are my thoughts for the day.

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