Monday, October 25, 2004

'I was wrong' is all right

'I was wrong' is all right

By Bob Garon
TODAY Newspaper
Sunday, October 24, 2004 9:22 PM

It takes a very strong man to admit to his weaknesses. It calls for character to accept one’s mistakes. Not many of us have the guts to do so. Consequently, we resort to making excuses and blaming others for our failures.

The great George Washington Carver, a black man, who made his mark in a hostile environment said, “Ninety-nine percent of failures come from people who have a habit of making excuses.” Carver was a man who could have made countless excuses, but did not.

Instead, he faced his reality, and rolled up his sleeves and got to work doing something with his life. He had little time to make excuses for himself.

You need to have character and a healthy ego to face failure and mistakes without blame tossing. Persons with low self-esteem cannot do it for fear of further collapsing their fragile make-up.

Someone said, “You can learn from your mistakes if you don’t waste your time denying and defending them. Excuses are the tools a person with no purpose or vision uses to build great monuments of emptiness.”

There are those who blame their poverty for their misery even if so many industrious poor persons are able to lift themselves out of even greater poverty by hard work. And in a country that all too often relies on luck to make it, there are too many people who sit around waiting to hit it big in the lotto. Meanwhile, they blame everything and everyone for their misery. “Some men,” wrote Willis Whitney, “have thousands of reasons why they cannot do what they want to do when all they really need is one reason why they can.”

John Mason writes: “When a winner makes a mistake, he says, ‘I was wrong.’ When a loser makes a mistake, he says, ‘It wasn’t my fault.’ Do you admit and say, ‘I was wrong,’ or do you say, ‘It wasn’t my fault.’ A winner explains; a loser explains away.”

“The best years of your life,” says Albert Ellis, “are the ones in which you decide your problems are your own. You don’t blame them on your mother, the ecology or the president. You realize that you control your destiny.”

We are quick to take the credit when we succeed. We are even tempted to take the credit when others succeed. When, however, we fail, we make excuses and/or blame toss. That isn’t the way of success. When you get into the habit of making excuses, you start believing them and don’t learn a thing when you fail or make a mistake. If, on the other hand, you have the courage and the character to face the music when it’s awful, then you learn and grow.

The last word is given to the very successful Florence Nightingale who said, “I attribute my success to this: I never gave or took an excuse.”


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