Growing up, I didn’t find myself working on too many home projects. So I never felt that equipped to do carpentry or home renovation work.
Then I married a woman who’s father was a contractor. When it came time to replace all of the windows in our new house, he told me he would help me do it by myself.
Having done nothing like it before, I was a bit nervous about my ability to do it properly. I was especially afraid of making a catastrophic mistake and damaging the home.
Sure enough, between removing the old windows and fitting the new ones, all sorts of mistakes were made. But through them all, my father-in-law was calm. He told me in his years of contracting, he had never seen a mistake they couldn’t fix.
That lesson stuck with me through the years as I’ve seen it applied to other areas of my life and the lives of those around me. Whether you say the wrong thing to someone, get in a car accident, lose your job, purchase the wrong stock, or even marry the wrong person, you can always fix it.
That doesn’t mean you can necessarily make it like it was before. But you can always recover. Things may be different going forward, but there’s plenty of chances to build on those mistakes, create a new path, and do something better or something you never even thought or dreamed possible.
You also learn important lessons from mistakes. If you do or say something that wasn’t quite right or what you intended, and it results in a mistake, it only improves your chances of learning and remembering the lesson.
When you gain this awareness and you believe in it, and are comfortable with it, you suddenly realize you no longer have fear. You realize that you are unstoppable.
It doesn’t mean you will always get your way or achieve what you want, but it means that the only thing that can truly hurt you is death.
However catastrophic something may look at the time that it’s happening, over time you will find you can always build on it or make things better. This knowledge also enables you to start embracing freedom and doing things according to your talents and principles.
At your job, do your best and do what you think is right. If you’re not getting treated as you think you deserve, you don’t have to sit there and take it. You will always find work. You can always get another job or start something on your own. If you lose or quit a job, there’s always another one there somewhere.
If you damage a relationship, there are always steps you can take to make it right. You may not be able to undo what you did or said, but you can always take responsibility for what you said. And if it means someone doesn’t want to speak with you anymore, the world is full of people who do.
This is not to say that fixing or recovering from tough mistakes is easy or fast. It’s really just another way to say that life goes on, and you can either embrace it and make the most of it, or you can wallow in the past.