What Was Your Intention?

I have the good fortune of working with some extraordinary and dedicated educators and parents, who go the extra mile to help their kids understand that it’s ok to make mistakes, and that every mistake is an opportunity to learn and grow.

It amazes me how many of these folks beat themselves up then they themselves make a mistake.

They question if they are competent and skilled enough to do their job.

They feel terrible that they have let others down.

They forget that every choice they made, they made for a reason, based on the information they had available at the time.

Sometimes things just don’t pan out the way we intended. Sometimes we don’t have all the information, and in retrospect, it’s easy to judge that we should have done something different.

In this situations, I like to ask: “If you had known things would turn out like this, would you have made a different choice?” The answer is always, “Of course!”

Don’t forget your good intentions. When things don’t work out the way you want, that doesn’t make you a bad person, it just means you weren’t able to look into a crystal ball and foresee the future.  You made the choices that you did because you thought things would work out differently.

We say to kids that people are doing the best that they can, and that mistakes are opportunities to learn. Are those just words, or do you live by them?


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