When I initiated the operations of my own business, I became painfully aware at how little I knew or understood about the critically important subjects of A Positive Mental Attitude, The Principles of Success, and How to Positively Influence Other People. Since I was starting a business in which I would be working mostly with volunteers (other people), I thought it would be very wise on my part if I began to learn as much as possible about human nature, and about how best to work with people.
To begin this whole learning process, I started reading as many books as I could find that covered the subjects about which I wanted to learn. This was totally new to me and I really had to work hard at it because I didn’t particularly like to use my spare hours reading printed materials. You see, I read all day long in my profession…long days…and I just couldn’t get fired up about reading more in the hours after I came home from my CPA office.
My business mentor, Ron, gave me some ever-so-interesting personal counsel, that I didn’t really care about listening to in the beginning, but which subsequently has proven to be extremely, and extraordinarily profitable, as I look back over the past 37 years. He said, “Dave, it will be absolutely necessary for you to begin reading PMA and Success Principle Books. You must begin to learn and know more about people and about how the Human brain works.” My immediate response to his wise counsel was…”I don’t like to read!” His just as bold immediate reply to me was the ever-so-wise counsel,……”Read Anyway!”…….I started reading.
One of my first significant lessons learned was about accepting personal responsibility for those things in your life that go wrong…that do not personally benefit you. Even if you are not the person who caused the problem or was responsible for the negative event, you are not to place blame or fault on another human being. The loser or the failure is the one who places blame on others. The winner or the leader always assumes responsibility for the unfortunate event. The lesson was simply this…never point a finger at someone else when something goes wrong. Don’t place blame on someone else for mistakes that influence your life. Why, because, whenever you place the blame on anyone else, but yourself, then you lose control of the situation. And, if you are not responsible for or in control of the situation, then you cannot change it or eliminate the ugly problem.
In other words, as long as you are in control and are responsible, you can do something about correcting a bad situation.
As soon as you pass off responsibility to correct the problem to someone else…you give up control and consequently cannot do anything to solve the situation.
I was very glad and happy to have learned that lesson early on in my business career. It has saved me and made me many thousand dollars of profit over the ensuing years.
In the every day world of business and people interactions, whenever things go wrong as they always will, the natural human nature tendency is to search quickly for some other person to blame and therefore deflect any one from blaming you. It is kind of a self-preservation, knee-jerk reaction. It is not anything new. It has been around since people have been around. You can trace this (and all other) human behavior all the way back to the Garden of Eden. Here is how God tells the story in the Bible in The Book of Genesis, Chapter 3, verse 12, NKJV:
(12) “ Then the man said, ‘The woman whom You gave to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I ate.’ ”
After Adam and Eve had both eaten the forbidden fruit of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, God called Adam to be accountable when He asked Adam what he had done. Adam replied that Eve had made him eat the apple…when Eve was questioned, her reply placed the blame on the serpent. The Blame Game was thus initiated in The Garden of Eden and continues on through mankind to this day.
May I suggest to you that the next time you experience failure of any type, don’t discard it by placing blame for it on someone else. Rather, think about why you failed,…instead of who the person was who caused it…who was to blame. Look at your failures objectively. Learn from them. Learn how to avoid them in the future. See what you can do better next time a similar situation presents itself. After each failure, ask yourself these three questions:
- What lessons have I learned from this failed situation?
- How can I turn this failure into a new success?
- Where did I experience any success along with this failed effort?
Here are two very valuable lessons you can learn from your failures:
- People who blame others for their own failures never are able to overcome those failures.
- In order to reach your God-given potential, you must continually work to improve yourself. You cannot do that if you don’t take personal responsibility for your actions and learn from your own mistakes.
All successful people learn to make lemonade out of the lemons that show up in their lives. There will always be lemons in your life. Take the failures that occur and learn from your past mistakes, so that you do not repeat those same mistakes in the future.
Oh, one more thing I’d like to pass on to all of you,….you cannot change the past so don’t try.You can however change the way you perform in the days ahead…and that is what will make the difference in your personal production and your related success.
Seek And You Will Find….