I used to have a driver’s ed instructor who would smile every time I made a mistake while driving with him. He would say, “It’s okay. You’ll learn better next time…when you wreck the car.” I laughed initially. Then the more he said it, the less funny it became. Behind the humor lay some very heavy truth.
Mistakes aren’t fun. I’m going to venture out and say that you’re probably going to make a few mistakes in life before all is said and done. The goal is to learn from them. However, sometimes its better to learn from other people’s mistakes.
My mentor Clint Smith is one of the most honest people I know. In our conversations, he doesn’t hold back anything. He’s quick to take responsibility for his own past mistakes and he always tells me what he’s learned from them. I don’t think I’ll be the same person I am today, if he didn’t make his share of mistakes…and let me learn from them.
Either you can learn from your personal experience or from other people’s experience. Your’s tend to hurt a lot more. Having good transparent mentors, who are open about their mistakes and how they’ve learned from them, is key to growing to your potential.
My challenge for you: Seek out mentors who are honest, experienced “veterans.” Don’t let your mistakes be the only ones you learn from.
What are some qualities you look for in mentors? Is transparency one of them?