Mistakes Will Be Made

Martin, do you know what mental toughness is? Well, mental toughness is the ability to accept the fact that you’re human and that you’re going to make mistakes – lots of ’em – all your life. And some of them are gonna hurt people that you love very badly. But you have the guts to accept the fact that you ain’t perfect. And you don’t let your mistakes crush you and keep you from doing the very best that you can.

Tom Laughlin as Billy Jack (1971)

American actor, director, producer and screenwriter, Tom Laughlin, was born on this day in 1931 (died 2013).

Billy Jack, the movie, sort of defined the early 1970s for me. I mean, not in a Native-American live in a group home with an asskicker of a friend kind of way, but more in a “we’re rebels and we don’t fit in” kind of way. Which is to say in a way that I probably really didn’t understand at the time.

Not that, nearly 50 years later, I’m sure that I understand or even remember it that well now.

Still, we thought it was a cool movie and One Tin Soldier was a cool song…for a 1960s anti-war song. But it was really hard to sing…or sing well at least.

Have a mentioned that I was a child of the 70s? Remember that we were the generation that watched the evening news proclaim the war death counts while we had dinner.

U.S. troops left Vietnam in the spring of my freshman year.

All that to say, let’s get back to what Billy Jack said.

We’re all human. We all make mistakes.

One could say that it was a mistake for the U.S. to get involved in Vietnam, among other wars.

We’ll just let that sit right there.

But, as I was saying, we all make mistakes in life.

No, I am not listing mine.

The challenge is to not be defeated by those mistakes and to learn from them for the next time.

If you look at it that way, they’re not really mistakes, they’re lessons.

Sometimes very, very hard lessons.

What defines us, what builds character, is what we do with those lessons.

And, for the record, I hate character building…unless I’m rehearsing a play, in which case, if you’re casting, hit me up.

I digress. Yet again.

The weekend is upon us.

Perhaps we’ll have some time to think about what we’ve learned from our mistakes.

Don’t make the mistake of not coming back by here on Monday.

For now, the weekend.

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“Instead of saying ‘I don’t have time’ try saying ‘it’s not a priority’ and see how that feels.”

That’s a good quote. It’s been making its way around the Interwebz recently attached to a meme with a picture of Leonardo DiCaprio.

Leo may have thought that, but the quote didn’t originate with him. If it had he might have made a priority of telling Rose to “move over, the door is big enough for both of us.”

I digress.

And so soon, even.

The quote is actually from an article by Laura Vanderkam titled Are You As Busy As You Think? that appeared in The Wall Street Journal in February of 2012.

I wish I’d read the article then. Actually I wish I’d written the article then.

Vanderkam is the author of 168 Hours and All The Money In The World: What the Happiest People Know About Getting And Spending, neither of which I’ve read and, in full disclosure most likely will not. I’m sure they’re fine works.

But she has a point. We’re not really as busy as we say we are.

No, I’m not going to list my projects again. Nor do I plan to talk about my upcoming busy season…okay, just not exclusively.

Life really is about determining what our priorities are. Much as I wrote last week.

We are all constantly bombarded with information, with requests for money, with requests to get involved, with requests for new projects.

We can’t do it all.

I mean, I’m pretty darned good at juggling projects, but I’m not Superman.

I cannot, and increasingly more and more, will not, try to do everything.

That’s why prioritizing is important.

That’s the other meme that I like “You can’t please everyone. You are not pizza.”

See where I’m going with this?

With regard to my own schedule, let’s just say that some priorities have shifted over the last few weeks and days. Some things that I thought I would be doing I will not be doing.

Sorry to be vaguebooking, but you know I’ll ‘splain that when I can.

As for my other priorities?

I’m trying to do a little better at taking care of myself, my health, our finances, our house. That sort of thing.

I’m trying to make it more of a priority to read more than just Facebook memes…although some of them are pretty good.

And, I’m trying to sort out what the extra projects are beyond that, at least the ones that I can control. Again, more on that at a later date.

So, what’s important in your life?

Are you really that busy? Come on now, how much time did you spend playing Words with Friends this week? Or how much time did you spend with any other distraction?

Don’t get me wrong. Sometimes we need those distractions. But it’s important to know the difference between a priority and a distraction.

I suspect if we all could learn that, we’d find that we have more time than we think.

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