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Do you accept mistakes?

๐ƒ๐จ ๐ฒ๐จ๐ฎ ๐š๐œ๐œ๐ž๐ฉ๐ญ ๐ฆ๐ข๐ฌ๐ญ๐š๐ค๐ž๐ฌ?
We all make mistakes, its part of being human โ€“ they are a natural part of life.
There are however a lot of negative connotations around making mistakes, which can lead to each of us avoiding things that may stretch us.
Yet, getting it wrong is often the best way to learn.
Albert Einstein once said, “โ€œAnyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new.โ€
In fact, giving ourselves permission to fail takes courage!
That may even feel scary too, because it may make us a little vulnerable.
Learning from mistakes can be challenging.
Yet, mistakes are actually very valuable, as long as you learn from them, grow from them, and improve yourself.
Indeed, mistakes are an opportunity to do better next time, and we should make the best out of every mistake we make.
Top Tips
– It is important to acknowledge your mistake and own it.
– Take a deep breath, admit the error, and make your apologies.
– Identify where you went wrong.
– Find the lessons so you can improve next time.
– Apply those lessons so you donโ€™t repeat the mistake.
– Consider sharing what you have learned with others
– Get ready for new mistakes!!
In summary – learning from mistakes is about understanding what you did wrong and making sure that you do not do it again.
What did you learn from your last mistake?

Lessons from Juggling….

โ€œCan anyone juggle?โ€ I asked.

A few raised their hands and I invited them forward.

I gave them three balls each and asked them to show us how.

Admittedly, they were a little rusty, but after a few attempts, the basics returned.

โ€œWho would like to learn how to juggle?โ€ I asked.

A few raised their hands and I invited them forward.

I gave those who could juggle the assignment to teach those who came forward how to juggle.

The challenge – they had only two minutes to show them how.

After their time was up, the novice jugglers showed us their rudimentary skills.

The result – it wasnโ€™t very pretty, with balls flying everywhere โ€“ but it was great fun!

After a few attempts, one even managed to complete a cycle of three balls through the air.

The Lessons โ€“

  • Learning takes practice.
  • Growth and Development takes time.

As we grow older and develop in life, we have to learn how to juggle many responsibilities. Frequently, it can take lots of practice to get things right.

That day, I gave a new set of juggling balls to the willing learners.

Pleasingly a week later, one by one they told me of their significant improvement in their juggling skills.ย  Each of them had taken time to learn the techniques of throwing and catching a ball. They had practiced with 2 balls and then ultimately juggled with 3.ย  With lots of continuous practice, 4 balls wonโ€™t be a problem either.

Learning something new?ย  Donโ€™t get too disheartened and throw in the towel too soon!

Remember, practice and time are key principles in our learning, growth and development.

Once Upon A Time….

Consider the meaning of โ€œ๐’๐’๐’„๐’† ๐’–๐’‘๐’๐’ ๐’‚ ๐’•๐’Š๐’Ž๐’†โ€….
Its a phrase that starts many of our most beloved fairy tales.
Storytellers use these words to alert their readers to the fact that the story wasnโ€™t for real. It was to be enjoyed and learned from, but it actually didnโ€™t happen.
Every moment in time only happens once.
The implication of that fact is frequently forgotten. Time passes all too quickly, leaving only the memory of it. We can never relive a moment. All we have of the past is the memory that becomes our story.
Unlike the fairy tales of our childhood, our story is real.
The secret to making each moment better is to stop spending too much time concerning ourselves about the past, or worrying about the future.
Neither do us any good.
Commit to live in each moment, to look around and be aware of othersโ€™ needs so you can help. Pay attention to the beauty all around, enjoy the sights, sounds and smells that are part of each moment.
As we approach each moment fully aware that time will happen only once, our stories, too, can be different. As we reach out and serve others, we not only help them gain the โ€œhappily ever afterโ€ they desire, but we also come closer to making our very own happy ending.
Stop and consider your own once upon a time.

Do, Feel, Learn….

I have listened to hundreds, if not thousands of workshops, talks and conferences throughout my life.

At the end, frequently I’ll ask myself the following….

  1. What did I feel as a result of this experience?
  2. What am I going to do as a result of this lesson?
  3. What did I learn as a result of this teaching?

“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” – Maya Angelou

Through inspired teaching, feelings motivate us into action.

Learning Patience

Almost daily, I pass this traffic light as I set forth on any journey out of Leidschendam.
More often than not (it seems to me) it is red, just like you see above.
Recently, I had an experience, that Iโ€™m sure many may be able to relate too.
For those of you who know me well, I have a propensity to be prompt!
Early one morning last week, as we were setting off just a little late for interviews in Rotterdam, we got halfway towards this light and then realised that weโ€™d forgotten something in the house. A quick turnaround, and then we were back on our way.
To get to the motorway, there are four sets of traffic lights that we encounter.
The first one above, is a bit of a bottleneck, as it leads to a narrow bridge where only one vehicle can cross at a time, hence the set of traffic lights at either side. That morning, it was at red. After a few minutes of patiently waiting, we crossed the bridge
100 metres further, is traffic light number 2, at a T-Junction. Again, it was at red. We waited once again for a couple of minutes before it turned green.
Turning right, we travelled another 200 metres and approached traffic light number 3. What a surprise, yepโ€ฆred again. It was another minute or two before it turned green.
Turning left, I approached the final set of traffic lights at a major intersection with lights galore. My light was of course red โ€“ it had to be! By this time, Iโ€™m feverishly watching the lights to see when it is going to be our turn to move. 2 minutes felt like forever.
Four red in a rowโ€ฆ. โ˜น
One interesting fact, that morning, we were the first car (in a line of cars) at every light, meaning that on every occasion we approached the traffic lights that morning, they had just turned red!

The lesson! ๐Ÿ˜Š

I think I have finally (I hope) learned that it is not the traffic โ€“ it is me!
Over the years I understand that it is not what happens in your day that makes you mad, itโ€™s who you are and how you handle what happens in your day that makes the difference.
Patience means actively waiting and enduring trials well.
Delays help me with one great lesson – ๐๐š๐ญ๐ข๐ž๐ง๐œ๐ž ๐ญ๐š๐ค๐ž๐ฌ ๐ฉ๐ซ๐š๐œ๐ญ๐ข๐œ๐ž!
The Apostle Paul gave the purpose of patience in his epistle to the Saints in Rome, in Romans 5:3-4 we read; โ€œWe glory in tribulations โ€ฆ knowing that tribulation worketh patience. And patience, experience; and experience, hope.โ€
I believe that being patient is a divine attribute and for many of us it may take many years to develop fully.
We should learn to be patient with ourselves.
In what area of your life do you struggle to be patient?

Disappointment

After coming in contact with someone with Covid this week, weโ€™ve been in isolation for a few days.
Yesterday, despite our great determination, because of a number of growing cases of covid in the mission, we took a difficult decision to postpone (again) a mission conference, planned for the week ahead, with a visiting general authority of the church.
Our hopes were dashed once moreโ€ฆ
Disappointment, discouragement and being a little down were not far from our thoughts yesterday, as we knew the impact the decision would have on our missionaries. Dealing with disappointment is not easy and it brings a kind of sadness with it too.

What did we learn?

Yet, setbacks are part of our experience as human beings.
I have learned in life too, that as we deal with disappointments, we need to understand that these temporary blips in our lives are just that โ€” temporary!
The key, however, is to boldly face disappointments and to master and control the emotions that arise.
Maybe it is required of all of us to know that through disappointments in life we may experience that which was taught in Doctrine & Covenants 29:39 โ€œif they never should have bitter, they could not know the sweet.โ€
All that said, in one of my favourite scriptures we read in Doctrine and Covenants 61:36, โ€œAnd now, verily I say unto you, and what I say unto one I say unto all, be of good cheer, little children; for I am in your midst, and I have not forsaken you.โ€
So โ€“ in the midst of our disappointment yesterday, after dealing with and sharing our emotions with one another, we chose to change and cheer ourselves up. We put things into perspective!
It was our day off after all.
We put up the table tennis table and played for a little while. Then we had a game of Sequence, we ate some warming soup, had a chocolate or two, and finally we listened and danced to some cheerful Irish folk music โ€“ all of which lifted our spirits.
What do you do to overcome disappointments?

The difference between a good and a great leader.

Recently I was asked “what is the key to becoming a leader?”
In considering a helpful reply, several thoughts came to mind.
In my experience, the first principle of leadership is ๐’๐’๐’—๐’†.
Yes, it is that simple, lead with love.
Love makes the difference between a good and a great leader.
As you love those whom you lead, it somehow magnifies every other principle of leadership, as you show concern for others, including building trust, serving and teaching others, creating a vision, communication, building a team and dealing with change.
When others know you will put their interests ahead of your own, they wonโ€™t hesitate to trust you.
Showing interest in others, being sensitive to their problems, and conveying compassion increases peoplesโ€™ capacities to trust in you.
I have learned that great leaders donโ€™t set out to be leaders, they simply set out to make a difference.
I have also found that the best leaders also tend to be the best learners.
The more you are committed to learning the more successful you are at leadingโ€”and in turn, just about anything else.
What can you do to increase your love for others?

Learning – Lighting the way ahead.

I love to learn.
The older I become, the more I enjoy the words of thoughtful writers both ancient and modern.
The more we learn, the more we are in a position to learn.
Gordon B. Hinckley stated โ€œThe learning process is endless. We must read, we must observe, we must assimilate, and we must ponder that to which we expose our minds. I believe in the evolution of the mind, the heart and the soul of humanity. I believe in improvement. I believe in growth. There is nothing quite as invigorating as being able to evaluate and then solve a difficult problem, to grapple with something that seems almost unsolvable and then find a resolution.โ€
I am so grateful to friends, colleagues and associates who motivate and inspire us to reach higher and do better.
As a teenager, I recall cycling in the early morning delivering newspapers and at night too, with the dynamo on my front wheel, lighting the way ahead. The faster I went the brighter the light, the slower I went, the light became dimmer.
So, it is with our minds.
Through ongoing personal development, we can keep the light of our personality and character shining ever brighter by reading good literature, then through our study, apply and action the learning into our lives.
How does learning, light the way ahead for you?

Simple Symbols & Formulas

Pondering after general conference weekend, it struck me this morning of a very obvious and intentional way that the Gospel of Jesus Christ is taught around the world.
There is in fact a very simple formula, a pattern if you will.
In the Book of Mormon, Jacob 6:3, we read “I speak unto you ๐’‚๐’ˆ๐’‚๐’Š๐’ (just like our conference weekends every 6 months), for I am desirous for the welfare of your souls. Yea, mine anxiety is great for you; and ye yourselves know that it ever has been. For (1) ๐‘ฐ ๐’‰๐’‚๐’—๐’† ๐’†๐’™๐’‰๐’๐’“๐’•๐’†๐’… ๐’š๐’๐’– with all diligence; and (2) ๐‘ฐ ๐’‰๐’‚๐’—๐’† ๐’•๐’‚๐’–๐’ˆ๐’‰๐’• ๐’š๐’๐’– ๐’•๐’‰๐’† ๐’˜๐’๐’“๐’…๐’” ๐’๐’‡ ๐’Ž๐’š ๐’‡๐’‚๐’•๐’‰๐’†๐’“; and (3) ๐‘ฐ ๐’‰๐’‚๐’—๐’† ๐’”๐’‘๐’๐’Œ๐’†๐’ ๐’–๐’๐’•๐’ ๐’š๐’๐’– ๐’„๐’๐’๐’„๐’†๐’“๐’๐’Š๐’๐’ˆ ๐’‚๐’๐’ ๐’•๐’‰๐’Š๐’๐’ˆ๐’” ๐’˜๐’‰๐’Š๐’„๐’‰ ๐’‚๐’“๐’† ๐’˜๐’“๐’Š๐’•๐’•๐’†๐’, from the creation of the world”
Reflecting upon this scripture, (and others) what I witnessed over the weekend (again), has suggested strongly to my mind that there is an oft repeated simple pattern or formula that is used to teach the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Indeed it has been similarly replicated through all generations of time.

It is this….

1 – Personal Testimony
2 – Teachings of Living Prophets
3 – Teachings of Holy Scriptures
I hope that we can hearken to this simple pattern. It is a proven, powerful and potent way of teaching.
As we were reminded of again over the weekend it has been said that; “The Gospel of Jesus Christ is beautifully simple and simply beautiful.”
Formulas and symbols help us to see things ๐’„๐’๐’“๐’“๐’†๐’„๐’•๐’๐’š!
Look out for the pattern when the missionaries stop by to share the gospel and their testimony with you!
What other patterns have you found in the scriptures?

Baby Steps

๐‘จ ๐’‹๐’๐’–๐’“๐’๐’†๐’š ๐’๐’‡ ๐’‚ ๐’•๐’‰๐’๐’–๐’”๐’‚๐’๐’… ๐’Ž๐’Š๐’๐’†๐’” ๐’ƒ๐’†๐’ˆ๐’Š๐’๐’” ๐’˜๐’Š๐’•๐’‰ ๐’‚ ๐’”๐’Š๐’๐’ˆ๐’๐’† ๐’”๐’•๐’†๐’‘ – Chinese Proverb.
Arriving in a different country, understanding a new culture and an unfamiliar language can be overwhelming at times – it certainly isn’t an instant process!
It has been over 26 years since Monic and I have lived in the Netherlands and we are already noticing how so many things have changed.
That said, one big thing that I have already learned is the value and importance of taking ๐’๐’๐’† ๐’”๐’Ž๐’‚๐’๐’ ๐’ƒ๐’‚๐’ƒ๐’š ๐’”๐’•๐’†๐’‘ ๐’‚๐’• ๐’‚ ๐’•๐’Š๐’Ž๐’†.

The first few steps

Tentatively, we have taken our first few steps of exploration in and around our local area. It is so beautiful, with lovely scenic walks and the people are so friendly.
Meeting with each of our missionaries one by one, has been an absolute joy.
For the first time yesterday, I was able to travel from one destination to another in the car with only a little help from the GPS. Driving can be especially challenging, especially due to the high volume of traffic and the proliferation of cyclists, everywhere!
Sitting in meetings where the language is completely Dutch no longer feels quite so painful or complete gobbledygook.
Slow, but sure, steady progress.
I have found that many of the happiest and most successful people I have encountered in life have achieved their level of life and work success by taking small baby steps, and then making one positive choice after another.
Positive new habits and routines are created incrementally, one baby step at a time. Indeed, it is through the process of change, that we discover who we really are. Patiently and carefully I am learning to lengthen my stride, one little baby step at a time!
What is a small, first step you can take and implement now in the changes you are facing in life?