Hands up all those people who have never made a mistake.  Stop it. You know you're lying. Whether personally (think of ex boyfriends/wives if you need any help) or professionally (bad call on product or staff) none of us have got through life without making mistakes. Even at NYT Events we've made mistakes....but that's a whole separate article I think.

The trick, which many of us (me included) have not mastered, is not to make the same one twice. When something goes wrong, we initially swear blind we'll never do that thing again, fall for that spiel or miscalculate the risk of doing such and such. And then we do. Time and time again in fact. And that's just the clever people!

I was once in Las Ramblas district of Barcelona with a very wealthy friend of mine. He is entirely self made with a ferocious work ethic based firmly in the idea that you get nothing for nothing, with one of the canniest minds you'll ever meet. 

Part the way down, there was a street performer doing tricks of the Tommy Cooper variety. He had three cups, one ball and the game was to find the ball after he clearly placed it under one of the cups before rotating them rapidly round and round his little tray area.

Clearly, it was a trick. But people took part in it none the less and surprise surprise, they never guessed correctly and always lost their money to this chap. As it was obviously a con I remember feeling glad I didn't know anyone daft enough to put their cash on his tray. And they I saw my friend remove the equivalent of £50 from his pocket and give it to the 'magician'. I tried to stop him but it was too late and he was too determined to beat the trader by showing how good he was at tracking a fast moving target. He didn't and hardly got time to say goodbye to his £50 before the man had packed up and was gone.

Apart from the satisfaction it gave me to be able to take the pi... out of him for the following decade, there are benefits to making mistakes, provided you are willing to learn from them which is why I liked this article  which talks about just why we make bad decisions in the first place and more importantly, how we can avoid them in the future. Worth a read.

 

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