“Making a mistake isn’t the end of the world but rather an alert that it’s time to course correct. Owning up to it is the sure way to chart a new path.”
Accountability is one of the most basic and most outright measure of ones integrity. Your integrity levels are gauged by your ability to own up to your mistakes rather than waiting for it to manifest in great feats. If such never come to be you’ll have lived your entire life as a fraud for not being accountable along your journey. I remember writing awhile back on my aversion to “buts” here which just came to mind as I was sitting to pen this piece down. Over the last couple of days I’ve been questioning myself on why it’s not that easy for individuals to own up to their mistakes even in circumstances when it’s outright. Basing on human predisposition to seek perfection, flawlessness and appear angelic, it’s then uncharacteristic to want to own up for any mishaps that may taint this image we intend to portray to the world. It’s been flaunted as the reason we portray opulence, beauty and perfection in our outward appearances while covering up on all the flaws, inadequacies that are part of our being. In Chinese Traditional Medicine they talk about yin and yang (positive and negative) which must be in balance for good health. In our lives then it also means we have to embrace our flaws as we do for our greatness to achieve a balance. Other than celebrate them the negatives should serve as drivers to make us improve and get better.
Looking back in line with my business interests, I’ve been keen to learn from successful business people from local shopkeepers to global billionaires. In there stories there is always an aspect of uncertainty, fear, sense of inadequacy and a bit of failures they had to suffer in the course of the journey. I’m part of business failures from opening a library, my stint with an eatery during my student years to a couple of other ventures in the recent past but it doesn’t stop me. The good thing about these is that they’ve always made me learn on different aspects from human ideals & values, business insights on market feasibility studies, marketing and the best of all having an exit strategy and being strong enough to throw in the towel. Reflecting on these, I’m reminded of a friend who have been part of the journey not as close but consistent on the sides with his own pursuits and a conversation we once had on setting up a series of discussions on our failures (Fuck Up Fridays – FUFs). Unfortunately we never came around to it but still a viable idea just to embrace and learn from failures which in a way I believe we need to.
Pointing fingers, apportioning blame and feigning innocence doesn’t solve the problem. Instead it stops you from learning from your shortcomings thus you’ll fake perfection living a lie. My challenge on this is simple, reflect on your actions and make peace with your flaws, accept your shortcomings, mistakes and be ready to own up. Be accountable for you to grow.