Stress can drive us to do many things that we never thought we would be capable of doing.
If your circumstances bring you to a situation where you are at your weakest, only you know what your response will be and the habits that you alone can control.
Financial stress can cause some to steal, lie, and cheat.
Foodies love food and find excuses for eating, alcohol enthusiasts love alcohol and find excuses for drinking. Sports and gambling enthusiasts similarly use time and energies that take away from daily routines. Worrying and depressive thoughts can become obsessive, like any type of habit. These habits and enthusiastic passions can turn into obsessions and can cause many issues with other relationships and how you function.
Sleep deprivation can cause us to make mistakes at home and work, and with daily routines, even judgement with our families and our own health. (I have empathy for parents with multiple young ones.) Smoking and other unhealthy habits tend to emerge.
So what does all this have to do with mistakes……Everything !! …..It is all a part of who you are and how you handle life specifically in the moment of heightened stress or distraction.
We all remember Uncle Billy from “It’s a Wonderful Life” who accidentally misplaces the $8000 to be deposited at the bank for the “Building and Loan”, and mean old Mr. Potter who took advantage of accidentally handing the money to Mr. Potter as he gave him the daily paper.” Mistakes are made on a daily basis. Most of us make accidental mistakes or errors. Who is to tell whether you or someone else will acknowledge an error and take the measures to report or correct the error, so as to not repeat it ? or even take advantage of someone elses’ mistake for their own benefit ?
It is your character that determines how you will respond to your mistakes and the relationships around you. Responsibility and accountability are two qualities in a person’s character and business that enables us to trust that person or business. Denial or hiding mistakes, making excuses, or covering up mistakes, creates a whole new dimension for those who have trouble accepting their mistakes and should cause concern for integrity and trust. The same applies to entities of groups of people, business or company, or an institution with whom people or the general public place their trust.
When a person or entity is not corrected for a mistake, that individual or entity may repeat the mistake thinking that there is no issue. Repeated mistakes can pile up and lead to larger problems later on. This can become a routine or habit or create a problem with persons accepting or acknowledging the mistake(s).
Mistakes can stem from self habits, or learned from a family member, a friend, other employer, or employee, and even a culture. “Haste makes waste” is a old saying that I feel is appropriate for this topic. Many mistakes are made simply by not taking the time to think things through or from scenarios we set ourselves up for with anxiety driven thinking. Many have lived without correction of a mistake or mistakes only to find it offensive when someone addresses the issue or mistake. Unfortunately some mistakes have lifelong consequences, these are not easy to acknowledge or correct. Some mistakes occur from memory issues and associated unhealthy habits that lead to poor health scenarios.
I am addressing daily mistakes that may appear on paper or spreadsheet, copying errors, from misreadings or translations, misinterpretations, misjudgements, mistypings on reports or health records and charts, schedules, errors that occur by word of mouth, or by misreadings or writings of sites online. This includes banks, hospitals, private, public and community, state, federal entities and records, as well as newsprint, obituaries, articles of history, as well as published articles of any form.
Whether your dealing with a student, child, parent, teacher, employee, someone in authority, or an employer, how an error or mistake is addressed can make all the difference in the understanding of the error. In order to correct the error or view it to be considered an error, as well as how someone or entity may react is of great concern. Many live in fear of making mistakes. It can become almost an obsession and cause great anxiety. Additional fear of being reprimanded, becoming the center of attention in a negative way, or just made fun of, causes more anxiety, especially when it is addressed in front of others. Whistleblowers can be frowned upon, raising awareness of “acceptable mistakes” that no one is willing to correct…..(When employers or ones in authority or of higher command, in the community or in a business are making or creating the errors— then the employee, or person who has detected the error, needs to know the chain of command to report or address the error, especially if uncomfortable addressing their employer or one in command personally for fear of losing their position or effecting the relationship between the two. Businesses usually have printed copies of protocols and procedural ways of handling such situations.)
In this complicated world of distractions, misunderstood priorities, self indulgences for quick and easy gain, multitasking, division of young vs old, women vs. men, racially biased implications and overtones, there are great questions when it comes to trust.
Who do you trust to do a job or be responsible for a product purchased, a service provided, and/or your personal information ? Are there precautions in place to prevent error(s) or comfort in knowing mistakes will be acknowledged and corrected ? and additionally if you will be notified if a mistake or error has occurred and how it will effect you ? Should you get a second opinion ?
The newest and next generation have and will have a very different relationship with each other, their technologies, the earth, their finances, their understanding of how they should live their life, and their perception of previous generations, all based on mistakes or overlooked mistakes made today and in the past. Their understanding of the importance and how to address their own mistakes and those of others is created by those examples that surround them. They will either learn from mistakes in a way to create trust, or view it in a way that destroys trust. Groups and people who once held the values of Responsibility and Accountability as true forms of character, may not be as valued as we expect in this day and age ! My hope is that Character still counts and that there are those out there who do not fear making mistakes but will be accountable in recognizing and in preventing further mistakes and making corrections as needed.
In the end we need to recognize that human error is part of life, but that there are ways to prevent mistakes and be more cautious. On the lighter side, wishful thinking would be that mistakes are “happy accidents”.
SO STOP ! then slow down, take time for yourself, make a weekly plan and be wise about your daily routines, eat and sleep well, decrease daily stress and reduce multitasking……. and create relationships that are good for you and your health to gain trust in those around you.