I made a pretty silly mistake in my August newsletter. I pulled average temperatures from a weather website for Scotland, and the original temperatures were listed in Celsius. Most of my subscribers are American, so I decided to convert that number to Fahrenheit. Only, when I changed the digits, I forgot to change the label. So I just claimed to my newsletter recipients that the average daily summer temperature in the Inner Hebrides is 136°F!
I immediately posted a status update to Facebook about the gaffe, half because I wanted to make my subscribers aware that I do know the difference between Celsius and Fahrenheit, and half because I think it’s silly and sometimes it’s good to poke fun at ourselves. I will also mention it in the September newsletter, for similar reasons.
Mistakes happen all of the time, but it’s how you handle the error that matters. The best thing is to own up to the mistake as soon as you know that you’ve made one. It’s OK to be wrong, and it’s OK to fail. It’s part of being human. Sometimes your mistakes will be embarrassing, and sometimes you will inadvertently hurt someone. Admit you’re wrong, say you’re sorry, and do better next time. And when you fail, try again.
We should all also be a little more understanding of other people’s mistakes, as long as they are open to change and to fixing whatever they got wrong.
My kids and I like to listen to “Try Everything” by Shakira from Zootopia when we go for car rides, because the message of the song is the same as this blog post. Try things. Fail. Make mistakes. Make new mistakes. Try again. Be open to the universe and possibilities, and don’t be afraid to change.