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Mistakes Are A Funny Concept!

They sound like they should be avoided. But mistakes in life are definitely not done on purpose.

To experience one probably means that you are disadvantaged in some way, but we know this does not have to be the case.

History is littered with various mistakes in life which have paved the way for groundbreaking discoveries...

  • Penicillin
  • Microwave ovens
  • The pacemaker
  • Scotchgard
  • Cornflakes and
  • The “slinky”

...all resulted from the mistakes in life of their creators.

Accepting Mistakes in life

I have a healthy relationship with potential mistakes in life and encourage you to embrace the mistakes in life as something not to be feared but harnessed, learned from and, occasionally, enjoyed.

My best mistake, of recent times, occurred during my first 
TEDx talk.

I was the first to take to the TEDx stage on that day and, with the spotlight shining bright and anticipation palpable throughout the excited audience, I set out to deliver a fun and interactive talk which amounted to my most memorable 
mistakes in life.

My TEDx presentation explored the difference between being heard and actually getting through to our intended audience.

I illustrated part of my talk by playing catch with the entire audience. This was NOT the mistake.

During my talk, I told the story of when I played a game of catch on London’s Tube.

An amazing experiment designed to break down communication barriers in one of the most uncomfortable and hostile communication environments I know.

Not communicating effectively is one of the biggest mistakes that man commits. Even though one can be marked for the various mistakes in life, communication barriers must not be one of them. Period.

I began the experiment on a playful note.

No one interacts with the tube so I thought I would try and shake things up a little through the medium of

It worked beautifully and I managed to 
change a carriage full of commuting zombies into smiling, talking, humans.

If you were on the Central Line on that day you may have experienced something profound.

I used the same model and applied it to the TEDx situation by playing catch with everyone in the TEDx arena – it was magically chaotic (as intended) as squidgy stress balls flew in every direction.

The game was designed to illustrate the bedlam of modern communication and involved every audience member.

It worked well and illustrated the difference between being heard and getting through amazingly. (You can see it here on YouTube for yourselves
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HVTbv1L6n3g .)

In this context, my recent mistake in life was not thinking what would happen next.

Mistakes in Life Leads to Great Opportunities

An auditorium filled with people, huge numbers of them holding a previously thrown smiley stress ball. I didn’t see it coming, quite literally. A classic example of unintended mistakes in life

I continued with my talk, after the crescendo of the catch game, and in the bright lights of the main stage did not see the squidgy missiles coming back to their owner in large numbers.

Of course, they were going to throw them back, of course, the magical chaos would continue and, of course, I would be the intended target of my recent self-created mistakes in life.

There is a wonderful moment on the video 
when I am hit in the chest by one of the balls and giggle in response to the spontaneity of the moment.

One of the prime mistakes in life, yes.

But not a problem, quite the opposite, in fact.

The fun continued and the audience was truly part of the experience and now felt like they owned part of the show, which of course, they should.

Though I started out by pointing towards one of my current mistakes in life, the experiment opened a new door of communication. Involvement can go a long way to solve the problems that people feel on a daily basis.

By being involved and by interacting not only the problems can be managed but the upcoming mistakes in life can be avoided.

Often I have to remind leaders and business owners to be more courageous in how they communicate.

What We are Losing on Without Mistakes

We have become petrified of the implications of saying the wrong thing and acting in a way that is considered a folly in general.

With the immediacy of digital communication, we are bound to commit mistakes in communication – we are human, after all.

I find too many people fettered by the fear of misjudgment and error and become stagnant, unable to communicate from a place of authenticity.

For them facing this problem. It is how life is! Commit mistakes in life! Take responsibility.

Learn. Grow. Repeat.

The world is a poorer place because of it.

Just because great minds are scared of making mistakes in life,
the world is left barren without any innovation and discoveries taking place.

To ERR is human,
as is communicating with Empathy, Rapport, and Resonance.

Continue to ERR, it’s very human and extremely magical.

Nick Looby

Nick Looby

Owner of Feet on the Ground Training

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