THE BLOG
05/10/2010 05:12 am ET | Updated Nov 17, 2011

Yesterday's History, Tomorrow's A Mystery

Recently, someone sent me a link to an article online about Sienna Miller and Jude Law. I don't know why people send me these links all the time.

Anyway, the article started by talking about how Sienna Miller can't seem to decide whether she wants to be back together with Jude Law. The main part of the article, however, was about how Sienna Miller -- at the ripe old age of 28 -- has decided that she is happy with all her mistakes.

In life, not only do we all make mistakes, but we all make mistakes every single day. If you think about it, at some point between when you roll out of bed in the morning and when you lay down to go to sleep at night you are going to make at least one mistake (and probably more than that).

The key is learning how to look at our mistakes. A lot of us have a mindset that is based on pure monkey chatter, meaning that every mistake we make throws us off our mental game completely.

Take the example of a guy who wants to approach a woman he sees in the supermarket. He walks over to her and says something to her that he thinks will intrigue her, but which ends up being the wrong thing to say.

He lets that mistake affect him so much that he quits approaching women. He thinks to himself, "This is not for me. I tried it once. It didn't work."

Something similar could happen in a work scenario as well. Someone tries something a little "out of the box" that doesn't end up working. So they decide that they are never going to take another risk at work, and that from then on they will only do exactly what the boss tells them to do.

Do you know where this kind of mindset about your mistakes will lead you? That guy who gave up approaching women after being rejected in the supermarket will still be alone thirty years later spending his weekends watching the "movie of the week" on Bravo. The person who gave up on taking risks at work will stay a low level employee at the same company, hoping and praying that the amount he's put into his 401K account will be enough to live on during his retirement.

You need to make mistakes every day. You also need to embrace every one of those mistakes, because it is when you embrace your mistakes that you will learn from them.

When you learn from a mistake, that is a win in my book. When I make a mistake, I analyze it and think to myself "How do I stop myself from doing this again? Why did I do this? What am I feeling at that moment?"

I tend to look a lot deeper into what is really behind the mistake. It doesn't matter if a mistake you make happens in your personal life or at work. You need to look at your mistakes and embrace them with a better mindset.

Part of embracing your mistakes is to realize that while you do make mistakes every day, you also have wins every day. Every day you do things that are amazing. You need to embrace your wins equally as much as you do your mistakes.

So ask yourself whether you embrace your mistakes (and the "win" of the lessons you learned from them), or whether you feel sorry for yourself when you make mistakes. Most people do the latter.

They go into "poor me" mode when they make a mistake. They will say things to themselves like, "God, today I tried to talk to someone and it just didn't work out. I am never going to meet somebody." In turn, that same person may have exchanged smiles with another person. They don't remember that though.

So when you are trying to grow (which we all should be trying to do every single day), you need to embrace your wins every single day. Every day you need to embrace at least one win. Write them down.

Also, realize that mistakes are never going to stop happening. My grandfather said something to me when I was about eleven years old that I will never forget.

He had lost a couple businesses during his life. He said to me, "David, every day I learn something new. Sometimes the lessons are really hard, but all that matters is that I'm still here learning and becoming stronger every day." It was one of the last things he told me before he passed away, but it is something that will always stick with me.

In my mind, there is really no such thing as a mistake (as most people would define it). Every "mistake" you make is something you needed to experience to learn a lesson you needed to learn.

Most importantly, realize that how you interpret and perceive your mistakes is essential to having your mistakes work for you and not against you. Just think of each mistake you make as an amazing lesson you needed to learn -- no mistakes, only lessons. Start having this mindset, and you'll be amazed at what you'll learn.