In yesterday's post titled Happy Accidents, I alluded to the beauty of doing whatever you do with the willingness to have an important and incredible experience - what would typically be called making a mistake. But as so brilliantly explained by Bob Ross (the TV Artist), "we don't make mistakes, we have happy accidents." I thought this idea was worthy of more exploration.
Personally, I know whenever I start a new venture - creating a new organization, starting new work like coaching or learning a skill, I struggle with trying to be good. Or let's call it what it is. I want to be perfect. The perfect entrepreneur. The perfect employee. The perfect student. On it goes. And for so much of my life, I worked really hard at that. In a few cases I guess it worked - in my own head at least. I felt there were areas where I really tapped into my "inner perfect."
But I rarely found joy in that because if you think about it, when you're striving for perfect, it's impossible to reach that. For example, with my mentality, if you run a 4:30 marathon, you rarely savor the 4:30 before you're wondering what it will take to do a 4:20. More importantly, you're highly unlikely to stop if you see something amazing along the way and savor it's beauty. If you do that, you'll never hit that 4:30! Not to mention missing the fun of meeting new people, learning a new city. Those are just some of the happy accidents in this example.
Moving onto creativity, the examples are more robust. If you're determined to launch the perfect nonprofit, you may read all the right books, set up all the right structures, envision the perfect program and apply for a 501c-3. But there are other paths. You could pilot a program in your community and see what happens. You could create a hybrid model of several program models you admire. Bottom line, by willing to experiment and make some mistakes you open yourself up to the joy of happy accidents! And serve people more effectively in the process.
To close, I'll share one of my favorite sayings from my coach Melissa Ford. She describes how when she was starting, she would ask herself " What can I screw up today?" I know from working with her, the result of screwing up is a brilliant coach that's of service to so many.
So ask yourself "What can I screw up today? If you do, you may find yourself with some Happy Accidents.