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July 7th, 2009

Advice from a 97-year old champion

“If you’re not making mistakes, then you’re not doing anything.”

–John Wooden (1910 – )
Hall of Fame basketball coach for UCLA
won a record 10 NCAA championships

So many people do everything they can to avoid making mistakes – yet mistakes are the corrective feedback we need to help us reach our goals. Trying to avoid mistakes is a HUGE mistake. Better to move and correct mistakes as you’re in motiion than sit idle trying to figure out how not to make a wrong move. The latter never seems to work.

When you’re in an airplane, most of the time the plane is off course. When you’re driving in a car – you must always have your hands on the wheel so you can make minor adjustments. You are continually modifying and correcting your course based upon ongoing feedback.

We tend to forget this when we get an idea to achieve a specific goal. We tend to think the key to success is never making a mistake. It’s not.

When you make a mistake and a teacher points it out to you – the answer is simple: Thank you for telling me that. I’ll work on that.

The average person says he’s sorry and apologizes when a mistake is pointed out to him.

‘I’m sorry. I’m sorry. I’m sorry.’

That’s all you ever hear – along with no change in behavior.

Better to hear ‘thank you – I’ll get right on that’ – and witness a change in behavior.

People who see feedback as helpful are grateful to learn what is steering them away from the goal. It may be a tough thing to do – to listen and be open – but it’s what the best of the best do.

Yes, you have the option to agree or disagree with the feedback – and you’ll become better at discerning what is helpful and what isn’t the more you practice – but you’ll never get anywhere if you view mistakes as negative and feedback as undesirable.

My best students LOVE being advised – even, as they would say it, ‘raked over the coals.’ And wouldn’t you know it – three of my students have played Carnegie Hall. Amazingly, all three of these Carnegie Hall performers are the BEST listeners and take advice better than anyone else. They beg for me to show them their mistakes.

Keep all of this in mind as you go through your day today. Mistakes are nothing to fear. Nor is the feedback that will help you improve.


Matt Furey

P.S. There’s a reason why the good get great. And that reason has more to do with their minds than anything else. It’s not talent, or smarts, or who you know. It’s who you are inside your own brain. Successful people get this and want more of it. Those on the road to failure don’t get it – and that is why they continue to fail. Make a choice which road you want to travel on. Make a choice to launch yourself like a torpedo to the destination of YOUR choosing.

P.S.S. The latest printing, first edition of 101 Ways to Magnetize Money is nearly sold out. Edition number two will have a totally different cover, making edition numero uno a collector’s item. Get one or more while supplies last.

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