You Made a Mistake – Use It To Be Wiser and Smarter

Things happen. You make a mistake. We all do. “Success is not forever and failure isn’t fatal,” says Don Shula. Perfection isn’t in our makeup – that’s okay. We all are members in the Oops! Club.

When we talk about being ready for life, many people think this means that we always get things right. We choose wisely. Things work out well.

We know life isn’t like that. We aren’t like that and that is actually the key to our greatness. To be ready for life means we know things will break down, fall apart, melt down and just not work, but our growth and development happens in the learning in those moments. We gather information about how to be better the next time.

Life is done by trial-and-error

I like to tell my audiences that we weren’t born with an owner’s manual – a guidebook that tells us who we are, what we should do and how we should live. Instead, we get the gift of each moment in life as the means to gather information – a kind of trial and error process – to see what does and doesn’t work. Each day, we show up and learn more about ourselves. Each day, we gather more information to determine what we rock at and what we stink at – so we can consider better ideas and options, then to choose those that make the most sense for who we are. In other words, do more of what you rock at and less of what you stink at.

In this process, we sometimes get it right – Woohoo! Celebrate! Sometimes we get it wrong – Woohoo! Celebrate! It is in the mistakes and failures that we actually learn more about ourselves – we gather more information that can help us better understand how to make our next moments better.

A mistake can be a tool of greatness

Maybe that seems like this statement is at odds with itself but it really isn’t. Greatness isn’t a location or an end. It is a mindset and an attitude – a commitment to discover and become one’s best. And because our road to being our best selves isn’t clearly defined, we stumble our way along. Mistakes guide us if we let them.

So, how do we get better at accepting our membership in the Oops! Club?

  • Learn to laugh more. We sometimes think everything matters. That is just a story we tell ourselves. Actually, we decide of what happens, what matters. Sure there are some serious situations in life, but most of the situations that we label as serious just aren’t. We could see them as the way life is and get better at laughing them off.
  • Learn to tune in more. Life is loaded with information, most of which we miss because we don’t tune into our lives. We are so distracted by all of the noise, lights and yack around us that we don’t pay attention to the things in our life. Tune in means noticing your thoughts, feelings and actions and what motivates them. Make time. Turn the electronics off. Close your eyes. Be still. This is how to connect to your information source.
  • Learn to cut others more slack. If we were able to allow others to be more human (because we all make mistakes), perhaps we could allow ourselves to be more human. Cut yourself some slack when things don’t go as planned. Oops. instead, just ask yourself this question: What can I do better next time?

Welcome to the Oops! Club. I am a long-time and proud card-carrying member. This club encourages learning, growing and changing. I like who I become by being part of this club – life grows deeper, stronger and bolder. This is how we access our greatness and learn how to be ready for life. Carry your membership card proudly.


Use Valentine’s Day To Teach Your Kids About Love

When we think of gifts, many of us think of things. Go to the store. Buy something. Maybe even make something. Wrap it. Give it. Done.

Gifts seem to need to be tangible – something you can open, hold, use, eat, collect, put on shelf, wear… But what if there were a different way to look at this?

With Valentine’s Day approaching, gifts are back in our mind as the holiday reminds us that the way we show people we love is with “something nice.” Something physically nice. What if instead of buying something nice we tap into what is best in us and do something nice for those we love. What if we were the gift?

As a parent, the gift you give your kids to show them you love them is your time, interest, attention, care, love, concern, support and guidance. These are pretty amazing. Nothing to buy. Nothing to wrap, but still a gift – an amazing gift. You are their gift.

It is the same for your partner, spouse or significant other. Gift the gift of attention, awareness, interest, support, patience, understanding, respect, fidelity, compassion, cooperation, helpfulness, sincerity, openness, perseverance, sacrifice, strength, understanding and humility. These are amazing gifts – they come from you. Think how your relationship changes with these gifts.

The gift of you is priceless

There is one more important thing about this perspective, particularly with our kids. See, the more we see how valuable and “priceless” we are to the others in our lives, the more aware we become of our own value. So many times our world provides the metric we use to measure or worth or value. Most of the time, its metrics do not include our connection, care, love and support of others. It measures the degree of love based on tangible gifts.

We know that what we all want most in life is to love and be loved in return. These are feelings, not things. Valentine’s Day provides a great teachable moment for our families that in providing the love, care and interest in another, they learn that they are valuable, they are significant, they are worth it – to others and to themselves. They learn to give of themselves and This kind of gift has lasting impact.

So, challenge the messaging you get from your world. Develop your own beliefs that reflects how you want to live and what lessons of what love is you want to teach to your kids. We don’t have to give gifts to show we that or how much we love. We can instead show up differently to the people in our lives – to choose to see that we are gifts to others – as they are gifts to us. Imagine what kind of  family, community, nation and world this could create.

How To Help Your Kids Learn to Think Like an Entrepreneur with Ally LoPrete – RFL032

How to Help Your Kids Learn To Think Like an Entrepreneur – Episode Overview

To think like an entrepreneur doesn’t mean you have to start a business. Rather, to think like an entrepreneur means you are someone who actively and intentionally watches your world for places to connect WITH what is best in you, to find your fit and to make your impact. Great entrepreneurs know themselves – what they are good at, passionate about and what matters to them – they know their world – they see its successes, needs and challenges – and they connect the two to create opportunities. Imagine if we were able to get ourselves and our kids to think this way – to go through life intentionally looking for, seeking out and creating opportunities to do what WE DO BEST. Think of the options and possibilities it would create for them AND for us…

Attention and Intention

This week, my attention is on how to help our kids (and ourselves) find our way in life – what fits us. My intention is that we learn to train ourselves to seek out, create and notice areas that need what we do best – so we can build lives of happiness, success and impact. In short to learn to think like an entrepreneur – to give ourselves options.

Meet our guest Ally LoPrete

Ally Loprete on how to think like an EntrepreneurAlly Loprete is a talented coach, speaker and is the host of this Little Parent Stayed Home, a radio program on iHeart Talk Radio, with a mission to bring 1 million parents home through self-employment and entrepreneurship. Known as the Work/Life Balance Parenting expert, she founded the widely popular, the largest online search directory for parents in the world. She is committed to helping all parents realize their greatness, and in the process, learn how to guide, support and coach their kids to do the same – to make their marks on life. High energy, focused and committed to doing amazing things, Ally is a role model for those needing to rekindle the energy to live life like it matters.

Episode’s Key TakeAWays

  1. Every moment provides the OPPORTUNITY to find the joy in life and in being the parent. We just have to choose to see it.
  2. To think like an entrepreneur doesn’t mean you have to start a business. To think like an entrepreneur means you know yourself, know your world and now how to find the opportunities in your world that fit you and your best abilities. Entrepreneurs are always looking for ways to do what they do best – they see things differently – they are opportunity hunters.
  3. Each of us has superhero qualities – we are great at some things (and not at others). When we find our thing, we start to see the opportunities related to it. This gives us clarity in starting to create our road in life – a road that lets us use our superhero abilities to show up big to all we do (note for parents – help your kids start to see and live their “superhero” abilities). Embrace what makes you and your kids different and unique as a way of creating clarity to find what in today’s world is for you (parents and kids).
  4. Opportunities are challenges and life lessons reframed in a positive light. Challenges can take us and our kids down – but by reframing challenges or obstacles into a conversation of seeing the OPPORTUNITY, trains our kids to be confident in handling what life sends them, knowing how to make something good out of whatever happens.
  5. Some people don’t like us when we shine – when we find and do our “thing.” Just be aware and don’t let others stop you from seeing and developing opportunities that are clear for you.
  6. Opportunities help us see what environments light up for us. Opportunities pull us in specific directions. If we see no opportunities, that generally means we are in an area that is not for us. This gives us clarity.
  7. We have to remember that each of our kids is different and the opportunities that will matter to each will likely be different. There is no one-size-fits-all parenting or no one-size-fits-all opportunity. Take the time to help each kid seek out, create or find their opportunities. What do your kids get pulled to or are interested in – these are places for opportunities.
  8. Life is filled with opportunities. Most of them we miss because we focus more on the challenges than the opportunities. As we become more like entrepreneurs in the way we think – always looking for the opportunity in what happens – we share with ourselves and our kids a world of possibilities. In these possibilities, we each will find our thing – our place – our way to show up big to our lives

Some question for parents:

  1. What message do you share with your kids about welcoming and using challenges to find opportunities?
  2. How do you help your kids learn to see things differently – to see the opportunity in things that others can’t see?
  3. How do you stay supportive as kids start to discover their abilities and opportunities?
  4. Parenting is a big job and big responsibility – what do you do each day to help yourself feel valuable, important and living life fully?
  5. How do you pay attention well enough in this moment to hunt for the opportunity to make this moment great?

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Stop and Notice Challenge

Each week we ask you to stop and notice – to develop your skill of tuning in to you and your world. This week’s stop and notice challenge is:

  1. Stop and Notice how you look at life challenges – do you see the negative or do you see opportunity?
  2. Stop and Notice how you help your kids hunt for opportunities. How are you helping them learn how to think like an entrepreneur?
  3. Stop and Notice what makes your kid unique, different and amazing. How are you helping him see this and use this to start to identify the opportunities that fit him?
  4. Stop and Notice how you take care of yourself. How can you be great as a parent if you are not feeling valuable, important and relevant as a person? What opportunities do you have or make to take care of yourself?

Life is filled with opportunities. Most of them we miss because we focus more on the challenges than the opportunities. As we become more like entrepreneurs in the way we think – always looking for the opportunity in whatever happens – then we share with ourselves and our kids a world of possibilities. In these possibilities, we each will find our thing – our place – our way to show up big to our lives.

Suggested Resource:

You Are Here - So Think Like An EntrepreneurYou Are Here – Discovering the Magic of the Present Moment – by Thich Nhat Hanh

In this book Thich Nhat Hanh, the renowned Zen monk, author, and meditation master, distills the essence of Buddhist thought and practice, emphasizing the power of mindfulness to transform our lives. “Mindfulness is not an evasion or an escape,” he explains. “It means being here, present, and totally alive. It is true freedom—and without this freedom, there is no happiness.”

Based on a retreat that Thich Nhat Hanh led for Westerners, this book offers a range of simple, effective practices for cultivating mindfulness, including awareness of breathing and walking, deep listening, and skillful speech. You Are Here also offers guidance on healing emotional pain and manifesting real love and compassion in our relationships with others.