Mistakes

We make mistakes. We focus on the wrong things. We get too far down a slippery slope. We steal. We cheat. We lie. We deceive others. We deceive ourselves. We see crime or fraud and don’t speak out.

You can be a good person and still exercise poor judgment.

We’re human. We all make mistakes.

Mistakes are bad, no doubt, but not learning from them is worse. The key to learning from mistakes is to admit them without excuses or defensiveness, rub your nose in them a little, and make the changes you need to make to grow going forward. If you can’t admit your mistakes, you won’t grow.

Failure is an event, not a person.

How you choose to interpret your failures will either move you forward in life or hold you back. Every failure can be turned into a stepping stone to success. Every mistake is a lesson in what not to do. Every setback is an opportunity to dig deeper in to yourself, to access resources you didn’t know you have and to acquire wisdom you could gain no other way.

It’s not the failures that define us so much as how we respond to them.

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Pearls of Wisdom – Norman Vincent Peale

“Throw your heart over the fence and the rest will follow.”

Norman Vincent Peale is the author of the famous book The Power of Positive Thinking. That book and other works from Peale went on to sell tens of millions of copies. During the depression he, JC Penney and Thomas Watson – of IBM fame – spent time on philanthropy. Peale also had his own radio show for over half a decade.

Here are some of my favorite tips from Peale.

  1. Focus on today.
    • Don’t take tomorrow to bed with you.
  2. Don’t walk around with the world on your shoulders.
    • Drop the idea that you are Atlas carrying the world on your shoulders. The world would go on even without you. Don’t take yourself so seriously.
  3. You may be surprised if you just step up and face your obstacles.
    • Stand up to your obstacles and do something about them. You will find that they haven’t half the strength you think they have.
    • The “how” thinker gets problems solved effectively because he wastes no time with futile “ifs” but goes right to work on the creative “how.”
  4. Understand to overcome.
    • Understanding can overcome any situation, however mysterious or insurmountable it may appear to be.
  5. Expect to get what you expect.
    • Any fact facing us is not as important as our attitude toward it, for that determines our success or failure. The way you think about a fact may defeat you before you ever do anything about it. You are overcome by the fact because you think you are.
    • Formulate and stamp indelibly on your mind a mental picture of yourself as succeeding. Hold this picture tenaciously. Never permit it to fade. Your mind will seek to develop the picture… Do not build up obstacles in your imagination.
    • Believe it is possible to solve your problem. Tremendous things happen to the believer. So believe the answer will come. It will.
  6. Find the upsides of the problem.
    • Every problem has in it the seeds of its own solution. If you don’t have any problems, you don’t get any seeds.
    • Problems are to the mind what exercise is to the muscles, they toughen and make strong.
  7. Check your phraseology.
    • Watch your manner of speech if you wish to develop a peaceful state of mind. Start each day by affirming peaceful, contented and happy attitudes and your days will tend to be pleasant and successful.
    • Never talk defeat. Use words like hope, belief, faith, victory.
  8. Don’t go too fast.
    • To go fast, row slowly.
  9. Develop the most useful habits of thinking.
    • Our happiness depends on the habit of mind we cultivate. So practice happy thinking every day. Cultivate the merry heart, develop the happiness habit, and life will become a continual feast.
    • Repetition of the same thought or physical action develops into a habit which, repeated frequently enough, becomes an automatic reflex.
  10. Learn not only from your mistakes.
    • We’ve all heard that we have to learn from our mistakes, but I think it’s more important to learn from successes. If you learn only from your mistakes, you are inclined to learn only errors.
    • Check what you did right and don’t get lost in basking on your glory. It will make it easier to repeat whatever you did that created the success.

11 Lessons On Why Winners Never Cheat from Jon Huntsman

winners-never-cheatYou may not have heard of Jon Huntsman. But you have used his products hundreds of times. This self-made billionaire founded the Huntsman Chemical Corporation which developed the Styrofoam that is used in McDonald’s clam-shell burger containers. Life was not all smooth sailing for this rags-to-riches businessman. Not one bit. He has been cheated and lied to countless times, but his moral compass stayed true.

Recently I finished reading Winners Never Cheat: Even in Difficult Times by Jon M. Huntsman, here are 11 lessons on why Winners Never Cheat from Jon Huntsman:

Lesson 1: Check your Moral Compass
No one is raised in a moral vacuum. It doesn’t matter what your background or religion is, you know when something just isn’t right. When something doesn’t seem right, step back and evaluate the situation. If that uneasiness doesn’t leave, then you are near dangerous territory. Don’t do it. You must find another way or abandon your current path altogether.

“We know darn well what is right and wrong.”

Lesson 2: Play by the rules
Character is most determined by integrity and courage. Character is also how you act when no one is watching. Cutting in line will often get you short term gain but its long term consequences never work out. The game is always more fun when everyone plays fair.

“Which rules we honor and which we ignore determine our personal character.”

Lesson 3: Set the Example
Whatever your job or title, you have an opportunity to lead with honor. Others are watching, whether it be a supervisor who is looking for that next leader, or a subordinate who is looking for an example to follow. Always know that others have moments of uncertainty and they might be looking to you for direction. You will never regret doing the right thing.

“Strong leaders accept responsibility for problems and deal with them swiftly and fairly. If the problem is your responsibility, then so is the solution.”

Lesson 4: Keep your word
Individual and corporate integrity must become the hallmark of the marketplace. Deep in our hearts, we all have a basic understanding that when we shake on something, it’s supposed to stick. A handshake should always be as binding as an iron-clad legal documents. If you conduct your business in that manner, you will develop a loyal following of customers, vendors and lifelong friends.

“When a handshake is given, it must be honored – at all costs.”

Lesson 5: Don’t Cross the Line
You know when you are about to do something that is dishonest. You don’t need a lawyer to tell you that. If accept dishonesty, you will find yourself in a new environment where there will be even more temptation to do more dishonest things. Eventually you will find yourself with consequences that make you wish you could undo it all. Guess what? Here is your chance, don’t cross that line.

“Our values, if properly anchored, will see us through these storms.”

Lesson 6: Pick Advisers Wisely
If you don’t have knowledge of something, find people who do. It is important to ascertain people by their values, character and deeds, not by their looks, background or school they attended. Seek others who have skills far above your own and are willing to stand up for what is right. After all, you are not able to oversee all of their decisions. You need to ensure they are doing right in your absence.

“Surround yourself with associates who have the courage to say no.”

Lesson 7: Get Mad, Not Even
We have all been hurt by those we trusted. Guess what? The hurt will never stop as long as you are on this earth. Learn to move on. There is a better more productive route if you can get past the hurt and accusations. The only one dwelling on the past is you. To make matters worse, it will stiffly your business and worse, start to change your heat. Transform those hurts into laser-like focus and passion. You will then be able to pursue your dreams with even greater ferocity.

“Revenge is unhealthy and productive, learn to move on.”

Lesson 8: Graciousness is Next to Godliness
Graciousness embodies love, kindness, sensitivity and charity. When we treat others with honor they can become lifelong business associates or even great friends. Honorable actions can often attract other people with similar values. These people react in kind, which is often good for business.

“Treat competitors, colleagues, employees and customers with respect.”

Lesson 9: Operate your business as if it is family owned
To create a culture of respect and honor, you must treat employees like they are part of your family. When they see how much you care, they will start to share your values. A family culture, no matter how large the company, is absolutely necessary to having a business that can endure through good times and bad. After all, competition is out to get you and you need to have employees that ‘have your back’.

“The greatest dividends are those paid to hardworking men and women through bonuses, gifts, scholarships and praise.”

Lesson 10: Give Back
Somewhere, somehow, all of us received help from others along our way. Many times, events went our way that an only be described as “larger forces” at work. We owe a portion of our success to others and the only way to repay that assistance is by sharing your good fortune. The ironic thing is that when you start to give, others take notice. They desire to do business with you in ways that can often leave you with more than before.

“Nobody is completely self-made; return the favors and food fortune.”

Lesson 11: Don’t give up
Life is hard. It always has been and always will be. However, remember that others have gone before you and persevered. Don’t give up. Find the joy in life and keep that in perspective as you tackle your daily challenges. Better days lie ahead…I promise.

“In difficult and challenging times, we must embrace the many positive things in our lives, however small – children and loved ones, flowers and other beauties of nature, the gifts with which we are blessed.”

Winners Never Cheat is mentioned in the book Give and Take several times, citing Jon Huntsman as an example of how a business man conducts himself negotiating and dealing with others along with the focus of conscious giving. The book is full of poignant quotes that drive home the message of the book. It’s worth the price just for this alone, if you enjoy quotes as much as I do.

 

Winners Never Cheat

winners-never-cheat

Jon M. Huntsman is founder and chairman of Huntsman Corporation. His foundation supports the Huntsman Cancer Institute. His book Winners Never Cheat: Even in Difficult Times is structured around old-school aphorisms (“Play by the Rules”; “Check Your Moral Compass”) from which Huntsman draws an informal moral code.

Winners Never Cheat is Huntsman’s explanation of the principles at the heart of his business success. They include:

  • Compete fiercely and fairly — but no cutting in line
  • Set the example — risk, responsibility, reliability
  • Revenge is unproductive: Learn to move on
  • Operate businesses and organizations as if they are family-owned.

Huntsman also stresses, among other principles, the importance of surrounding oneself with associates who listen to their conscience and act accordingly; of treating customers, colleagues, employees and competitors with respect; and of returning favors and good fortune by helping out those less fortunate.

There are no moral shortcuts in the game of business — or life. There are, basically, three kinds of people: the unsuccessful, the temporarily successful, and those who become and remain successful. The difference is character.

Learn more and laugh more

bill-gates-and-warren-buffet

In July 2016, Bill Gates, the co-founder of Microsoft and now a philanthropist, wrote a memoir on his 25 years of friendship with Warren Buffett, the world’s best investor ever and one of the most-followed businessmen.

Here is how Gates started his memoir –

I don’t remember the exact day I first met most of my friends, but with Warren Buffett I do. It was 25 years ago today: July 5, 1991.

I think the date stands out in my mind so clearly because it marked the beginning of a new and unexpected friendship for Melinda and me—one that has changed our lives for the better in every imaginable way.

Warren has helped us do two things that are impossible to overdo in one lifetime: learn more and laugh more.

Source: 25 Years of Learning and Laughter

I think the most important message from above paragraph is “learn more and laugh more”.

It’s More Expensive to Be Poor Than to Be Rich

Terry Pratchett had a really perfect explanation for one of the many reasons why it’s more expensive to be poor than to be rich:

“The reason that the rich were so rich, Vimes reasoned, was because they managed to spend less money.

Take boots, for example. He earned thirty-eight dollars a month plus allowances. A really good pair of leather boots cost fifty dollars. But an affordable pair of boots, which were sort of ok for a season or two and then leaked like hell when the cardboard gave out, cost about ten dollars.

But the thing was that good boots lasted for years and years. A man who could afford fifty dollars had a pair of boots that’d still be keeping his feet dry in ten years’ time, while the poor man who could only afford cheap boots would have spent a hundred dollars on boots in the same time and would still have wet feet.

This was the Captain Samuel Vimes ‘Boots’ theory of socioeconomic unfairness.”

Quoted from here: http://www.goodreads.com/quotes/72745-the-reason-that-the-rich-were-so-rich-vimes-reasoned

By this model, one reason the rich are so rich is because they manage to spend less money… and not just on boots.

For those not familiar, and getting not too spoiler for context, Vimes gets to know the daughter of the oldest, wealthiest family in the city and has lots of occasion to observe the habits of the rich. He goes on to observe how wealthy households never throw anything away – they buy top quality and use it forever/pack it for the next generation.

The bad financial choices (buying the $10 pair of boots every year when the $50 pair will last a decade) are not truly choices, good or bad. They’re the only option.

 

Why do you want to be rich

For centuries, people have assumed that wealth would be a wonderful cure for all their unhappiness or problems. Why else would we work so hard for it? But when people actually acquired more money and status they wanted, they discovered that it wasn’t quite what they hoped.

I don’t mean to say that acquiring wealth is wrong or money wouldn’t solve all the problem. The important thing is that while we are making plans for getting filthy rich, we should also ask WHY we want to be rich.

What kind of persona will we become while acquiring wealth or chasing our dreams.