Guest viewpoint: 10 thoughts from a small mistake

Kevin Dee Eagle

By Kevin Dee

I flew into Vancouver airport recently and it had been a while since I was there. It was a bit of a walk from the gate to the baggage area and I headed out, thinking about my trip, what I wanted to achieve, how long I would have to wait for luggage … the usual multitude of things spinning around my brain.

I was following a young lady and after a little while she realized she had taken a wrong turn, which of course meant I had also taken a wrong turn. My sense of direction is “the worst” … so I don’t claim that I would not have taken a wrong turn, but I blindly followed someone else and went the wrong way. I should have known better because I get in trouble every time I decide to blindly follow the GPS in my car!

It was no big deal … but it got me thinking.

            “A man must be big enough to admit his mistakes, smart enough to profit from them, and strong enough to correct them.” John C. Maxwell

What I focused on was not so much the fact that I had made a small mistake, but on what lessons I could take away from the experience.

Perhaps the biggest lesson was that we can learn from literally any situation, if we are willing to put some thought into it, but here are 10 thoughts that went through my head:

  1. If you are not concentrating on your primary function then your chances of being surprised increase.
  2. Sometimes a reminder is as important as learning something new.
  3. If I can be easily distracted in this situation, what can I do to be more focused when it is actually important.
  4. It is OK to make mistakes … as long as your attitude is good.
  5. It would be easy to let little things like this upset me, so I need to remember to keep things in perspective.
  6. Be careful when putting your trust in someone else.
  7. Know your weaknesses and act accordingly in those situations.
  8. The importance of focus is relative to the situation … if I had been riding my motorbike then focus would have been absolutely critical.
  9. Accept and learn from your mistakes, big or little. Perhaps a small lesson here might avoid a big lesson later!
  10. You can learn lessons from any situation … if you want to.

            “There are no mistakes in life, just lessons. There is no such thing as a negative experience, only opportunities to grow, learn and advance along the road to self-mastery. From struggle comes strength. Even pain can be a wonderful teacher.” Robin Sharma.

Kevin Dee is CEO of Eagle (a professional staffing company. His blog is at

OCN publisher Tim Lawlor suggested this article. Lawlor can be reached at or by phoning (613) 699-2057 ext 210.


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