How to Not to Get Hit by Lightning 7 Times – Learning from Mistakes

Photo by albertw via Flickr Creative Commons

Photo by albertw via Flickr Creative Commons

Have you heard the saying that lightning never strikes the same place twice?

Roy C. Sullivan was a forest ranger in Virginia who was hit by lightning on seven different occasions between 1942 and 1977.

It makes you wonder, what did he do to be struck seven times? Did he do anything to avoid being struck again? If it was me, I would have found a new job, preferably one that involved a lot of time spent indoors!

Are there areas in your life, where you feel like you keep getting “ hit by lightning?” So how do you avoid finding yourself in the same spot again?

  1. Admit you made a mistake – don’t look for who to blame, unless it involves a mirror.
  2. Let go of perfectionism – it is ok to make mistakes, but it is important to learn from them. Avoid making the same mistake over and over.
  3. If others are involved, be sure to apologize (again, without blaming!)
  4. Step back and try to get some perspective. Ask questions like “what am I learning here?” and “What can I do differently to change the outcome?”

For practical and powerful tips on asking good questions of yourself, I strongly recommend an incredible, but easy read: QBQ! Question Behind the Question by John G. Miller.

Every mistake or failure is an opportunity to learn and grow – don’t waste a good learning opportunity.

What ways to you keep from repeating the same mistake? I’d love to hear from you, please leave me a comment below.