Last week we asked you about the time you failed.
The goal is not to dwell on your mistakes, but reframe them as necessary steps on the path to achieving your goals.
In the process of inventing the lightbulb, Thomas Edison supposedly said, “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”
But not every mistake leads to a revolutionary invention…
I got a car. . . . It was a Lexus hybrid, and the first day I got it, I filled it up with diesel fuel. I destroyed it. It was awful.
That story is from comedian Whitney Cummings in Tim Ferriss’ book, Tools of Titans. She goes on to explain:
I got this great joke out of it, though, a 7-minute bit that probably paid for all the damage. So now, I’m in this place where when something bad happens, I think: “Oh, good, I can use that.”
Fellow comedian Russell Brand has a similar approach:
I’ve learned now that when I’m in a situation where my first impulse is to hide the shame I feel forever, that when rendered as a yarn the scenario will probably be funny, so my second impulse is, “That’s probably material.”
When other people share stories of their mistakes, we laugh, empathize with them, and admire their vulnerability. But our own mistakes are different. Better left unspoken…
What’s a mistake you made that led to a funny story?
Even if you never tell the story in public, you might as well laugh off life’s little mishaps. After all, what’s the alternative?