The best mistake

Chocolate Chip CookiesHave you ever made a mistake that turned about to be a beautiful gift in your life?

Maybe it made things more difficult at first, or maybe for a long time.  But later on, when the dust settled, you began to see something beautiful emerge.

One of the first examples that comes to mind is an unexpected child.  The pregnancy that comes as a complete surprise.  The woman who carries a baby for nine months with fear or frustration, only to meet one of the greatest joys of her life after delivery.

There are so many things we love that only exist today because of someone’s mistake.

Let’s look at a few:

  • Post-it notes, a favorite of mine, came about when a guy named Spencer Silver was trying to create a super strong glue, but instead created an adhesive that was sticky, but could be easily removed.
  • The coronary pacemaker, was made when an engineer accidentally plugged a resistor of the wrong size into a circuit.  He heard the rhythmic lub-dub sound of the human heart and forever changed life expectancy around the world.
  • Chocolate chip cookies came on the scene when Ruth Wakefield decided to stick pieces of a Nestlé chocolate bar into her butter drop cookies at the Toll House Inn, expecting it to dissolve. Instead, the chocolate maintained its shape and theses yummy creations have delighted us our entire lives.

What if these folks had given up?  What if they threw their mistakes away and threw in the towel?  

I would remember A LOT fewer important tasks if they couldn’t be stuck all over my desk and my notepads.   My Grandpa would have passed 25 years sooner than he did.  My family would be enjoying something different as a special snack on family movie night.

I’ve made several big mistakes on the journey to create HeartStories.  One of the most noteworthy, is that I liquidated my retirement and spent it all, way too fast.  I’ve stared at an empty bank account, blaming myself, and considered throwing in the towel on my dream, because it didn’t turn out the way I planned.  It certainly didn’t turn out the way others expected it to, at first.

As it turns out though, I had to go through the emotions, the learning, the desperate places, and face the fear in order to get where we are now.   They were the platform for building the Shop by HeartStories.

I had to feel everything I felt.

I had to push harder than I ever knew I could.  I’ve had to be more determined, more persistent than I’ve ever been before. (And that’s persistent y’all! Just ask my mom and dad.)

All those mistakes taught me.  They stretched me.  They gave me more empathy, grace and eventually strength and joy.

They changed the way I see the world.

What’s your best mistake so far?  How did it change your life or the lives of others around you?

Maybe you’re in the middle of it right now.  Maybe you feel shame about a mistake or a series of mistakes you’ve made.  Maybe no one has told you to just hold on.

Sure, you could have done things differently.  We all could have.  But you didn’t and you’re here, right where you are.

And that can be a really good thing.

Don’t give up.  Don’t throw in the towel on yourself or your dreams.

Put one foot in front of the other today.   Adjust your sails, and your expectations if you can.

Show yourself the compassion you’d show a child learning to walk, who makes the mistake of falling down and conking her head.   She’s bleeding and crying.  Pick her up, hold her tight, tell her it’s going to be OK.  Give her a bandaid and maybe an ice pack.  Help her settle down and feel better.

Then, set her back down to walk again.

She will.  She’ll be off to the races in no time.  She has a whole beautiful world waiting for her, welcoming her back.

So do you.

You just have to keep trying, keep walking, to get there.

The gift is waiting.

You have to look for it.

To more love,


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