In Monopoly, there are several moves that can be made during the game. You can invest early or you can pay rent. You can build houses or hotels. You can draw a Chance card and advance directly to Go, or you can get stuck with one of the ” Do not pass Go. Do not collect $200” cards. This card selection stinks in the board game and in the game of life.
In the business world, sometimes we’re caught off our game. We get overloaded with work; we’re trying to reduce an Inbox from 2,000 down to 0, or we accept too many meetings meetings thereby limiting the amount of time to get work done.
I had one of those rare “off” moments last week. I was knee-deep in a discussion with coworkers where solutions to a problem were being figured out. The discussion ran long, and before I knew it, I was going to be late for a meeting. I was scattered as I power walked into the other person’s office. The start of the meeting could have been much better than it was, and because it was just two people, there was slim chance that my lack of focus went unnoticed. The other person became disengaged, and it was work to get the discussion back on track. I walked out feeling like I’d just lost an hour and left the wrong impression.
I stewed for two days over that bad meeting. Did I lose value with the other person because it hadn’t gone as well as intended? Would I now be viewed as less capable because of it? And then God reminded me that we can’t go through life pushing the rewind button. Our hearts were not made to bear the torture of regret, or the sting of guilt. We all make mistakes. And it’s through acknowledging the mistakes and looking for ways to minimize repeats that we learn the biggest lessons.
My lesson was that I need to say “no” more often so that I make time to focus on what’s most important while at work. I probably wouldn’t have gotten the picture as clearly had I not screwed up in such grandiose style. Praise God that we get second chances…the “advance to Go” card, if you will.
What mess-up have you made where God has used it to teach you a valuable lesson?