Some of the greatest failures in histories resulted from not learning from past mistakes. Truth never ceases to be the truth just because we deny it. This is true—experience is inevitable, but learning is optional. There is nothing that says a mistake can’t be repeated—goodness we see it all the time.
One of the key qualities that separates high-impact people from everyone else is their ability to apply their own experiences and the experiences of others to improve their skills and results.
High-impact performers make mistakes. But what is most interesting is that they don’t shy away from mistakes and failures. In fact, they get comfortable making mistakes in the pursuit of new learning because they effectively learn from their mistakes (and the mistakes and experiences of others) and do not repeat them.
That is what the acclaimed leadership expert and psychologist Dr. Henry Cloud learned when he studied the habits and behaviors of high-impact performers. Dr. Cloud shares the details of his learnings in Never Go Back: 10 Things You’ll Never Do Again. In his research, he identified ten common life patterns that keep people from living with greater and more purposeful impact.
“Successful people have certain realizations, or awakenings, that change the course of their lives forever in a positive way.”
—Dr. Henry Cloud, Never Go Back
The goal is not to eliminate failure. The goal is to run the important races in your life more effectively by learning from experiences that yielded proven lessons.
Lesson #1: Return to what hasn’t worked. When something hasn’t worked step back and evaluate the result. Don’t go back to it expecting a different result without making adjustments.
Lesson #2: Do anything that requires you to be someone else. Stick to who you are. Success is based on your most important roles and values. Don’t stray from them. Ask yourself, “Why am I doing this? Does this allow me to do what I do best? Can I sustain this?” If the answer is no, you need a really good reason to keep doing it.
Lesson #3: Try to change another person. Your role in the pursuit of impact is to help someone discover who they are and develop their skills. It is alright to encourage someone to try something and experience it, but you don’t try make someone into your image of who they should be.
Lesson #4: Believe that you can please everyone. Who do you want to be remembered by? Those are the people you invest your time, talent and resources into.
Lesson #5: Choose short-term comfort over long-term benefit. The important races in your life are neither brief or easy. The race will not be one long series of continuous victories. Keep your eye on the finish line and work backwards.
Lesson #6: Trust someone or something flawless. Ah, if it is too good to be true—it probably is. Take a time out and reassess the person or situation.
Lesson #7: Take your eyes off the big picture. Keep things in perspective. When place too much emphasis on a single event or day you can lose sight of the finish line.
Lesson #8: Neglect to do due diligence. Check things out for yourself. Especially if it is a question, inquiry or decision that takes you into unfamiliar territory. Sometimes you have to slow down to go fast.
Lesson #9: Fail to ask why you are where you are. You must check your thought process and the decisions that have lead you to a particular position in a race. Along the course of your race the fail to accurately assess your position means you will miss warning signs.
Lesson #10: Forget that your inner life produces your outer success. Circumstances are never permanent. Great impact is initiated and sustained through a positive self-expectant attitude and an ever present sense of gratitude. A great race can never be envisioned or pursued through a cloudy lens.
What do you think...Which lesson stands out the most to you? You can leave a comment by clicking here.