I do this every time. I wake up three hours before school, but somehow spend the last fifteen minutes scrambling like a madman. Most days I am rushing to get dressed or make some semblance of a healthy lunch. But on this day I was already dressed and my lunch was all set.
But where were my car keys!!!
I am such an idiot! I don’t think a day goes by in which I don’t misplace something.
5 minutes before I need to walk out the door.
I looked in my closet. Maybe I dropped them when I was changing clothes from the previous day.
No such luck! Why don’t I just leave them in the same place every day? Then I would never have this problem again! I am so stupid!
4 minutes until I have to go!
I decided to make another sweep through my bedroom. It is not uncommon for me to lie down as soon as I get home. Just to unwind from the day’s events.
Nada! Starting today I am going to become more organized. This can’t keep happening.
3 minutes and counting!
One last sweep through the entire house with new eyes. Maneuvering around toddler toys and my tween’s clothes is enough to make me almost lose it. And that’s when I see my winter jacket in my daughter’s bedroom. I hadn’t put it there. I was certain. She must have decided to wear it when she was cold. She is at the age where she loves to wear my t-shirts, sweatshirts and now my jackets, around the house. I reached in the pocket and felt my keys. It was almost as if they were mocking me.
With a minute to spare, I bolt out of the house and into my car. Just barely making it to work on time.
Later that evening, when I had a moment to reflect. I realized something very important. It hit me that way too often we get down on ourselves, or we hang our heads, for things that are either out of our control or not our fault.
Just that morning I was beating myself up over missing keys. First, let’s get some perspective. I couldn’t find the keys to my car. It wasn’t as if I had committed a major crime. And second, when all was said and done, there was nothing I could have done about it. My daughter simply borrowed my jacket and had left it in her room. Kinda cute really.
But the important thing is, how often to do this to ourselves? I mean, if it is mistakes we are looking for, then they shouldn’t be hard to find. We all make them. It’s a part of life. Let’s start giving ourselves some slack. Just a little bit of grace.
And then I begin to think. If I was quick to jump all over myself for misplacing car keys, what must our students and our children be putting themselves through each and everyday? More importantly, what can we do to stop them from doing this?
I probably sound like a broken record. But what we need to do is start sharing our mistakes with the people we serve and the people we love so that they stop feeling as if they have to be perfect. This is something that I am very passionate about.
We’re going to make mistakes.
End of story.
It’s time to stop beating ourselves up over our mistakes. We forget that this is our first time playing this game called Life. And if it’s not, well then what are we worried about anyway?
For almost a year now I have had the incredible honor of speaking with many amazing educators and leaders. They have come on my show and shared mistakes that heretofore very few knew that they had made. So, I am certain that, like me, listeners have learned much from hearing these epic mistakes.
And that is good.
But it is not enough.
What I want is for listeners to be inspired by my guests’ courage. And then. When they are ready and when the moment present itself. I want them to start sharing their mistakes. It will take some time getting used to because it is not easy. But in the end we will be better off. We will start holding our heads a bit higher because we will realize that we are not alone.
I started this journey almost one year ago. My very first guest was Todd Whitaker. Someone who I hold in the highest regard. He came on My Bad and shared a big mistake If Todd can do it then so can the rest of us. To date I have released 30 episodes and there are at least 10 more waiting patiently on deck.
Being given the opportunity to host this show has been one of the greatest honors of my life. It has forced me to reflect in ways I never had before. I have learned much from my reflections and I have learned much from the reflections of others. But work is far from done.
In fact, I believe I am just warming up. Over the next year I am looking to share what I have learned with students, educators, parents … basically anyone who wants to listen. I have seen firsthand how my life has changed for the better and hopefully I can do the same for others.
I worry less.
And I live more.
The world appears quite different when you no longer fear making mistakes.
If you don’t believe me, just check out an episode or two of My Bad and see for yourself. I promise you within one or two you will feel better. And if you do, please share that feeling with others. Better yet, share a mistake.