A man must be big enough to admit his mistakes, smart enough to profit from them, and strong enough to correct them. – John C. Maxwell
I would say the trait cited above is one of the cores of personal, professional, and academic success.
John Maxwell is renowned for his expertise in leadership. Every year, he speaks to representatives of Fortune 500 companies, the NFL, churches, government leaders and various other organizations about leadership. He has been featured in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and Business Week, and is a bestselling author.
So, what’s this he’s saying about mistakes? Let’s break this quote down into each of its valuable components.
“A man must be big enough to admit his mistakes...”
“Big enough” here means powerful enough. One must be confident in order to admit he or she is wrong. Someone who is wary of what others think and who might question their own worth would hate for someone else to point out their mistakes. He or she might take it as a personal attack. To admit one’s own mistake would be even worse--it would be reinforcing one’s fear of lacking in a particular area. BUT, to understand that you are an amazing, valuable, phenomenal person who is imperfect, as we all are, will give you the power to admit when you are wrong. Others, acknowledging your power, will most likely respect your honesty and transparency as a result.
“[A man must be] smart enough to profit from them...”
Our nation’s biggest entrepreneurs have usually succeeded after a number of failures. For all of the products we use every day, there were a number of failures before each product was a success. Take it from our nation’s most prominent entrepreneurs. You must learn to make your failures turn into opportunities for progress. To keep going is to believe that success is inevitable. Fully believe in your own capabilities in order to do so.
“[A man must be] strong enough to correct them...”
To be completely honest with you, a mistake can cause a hard hit to your ego, finances, emotions, relationships, and the like. You might feel the urge to throw in the towel, but to correct your mistakes is to be strong enough to remember that you are in control of your own destiny. You are in control of the ability to work towards the rectification of that which may not have quite turned out the way you would have liked. Again, this is no easy task and can be a quite lengthy process, but quite beneficial, nonetheless. Seek peace in whatever it is you do to reflect and empower yourself, and then take action to resolve the mistakes that are holding you back from your full potential.
Benefiting from your mistakes is quite possible. Being big enough, smart enough, and strong enough to do so is a process, but definitely a process that can change your life and your outcomes. We should all follow Maxwell’s lead, and surpass our obstacles, so that, we too, can transition our challenges...into the realm of opportunity.
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