Effort vs. Apathy by Jim Stovall

In business and in life, we should celebrate our victories and learn from our mistakes.  Mistakes are never failure unless we quit.

Mistakes can be the fertilizer for future success, and the experience can create building blocks for greatness.  All mistakes are not created equal.  There are mistakes that involve effort and then there are mistakes that involve apathy.

Effort is the one element that has to exist in all success formulas.  Nothing worthwhile ever happens without our own best efforts. Sometimes, these efforts involve us making an error or mistake.

These mistakes can be temporarily painful and costly, but they need not be fatal. As long as the attitude is good and the effort is consistent, we have the potential to succeed.

The most dangerous type of mistake is a mistake of apathy.  Doing the wrong thing can sometimes create a bad result, but doing nothing is always a recipe for failure.  I would rather strike out while swinging for the fences than be called out by the umpire while resting the bat harmlessly on my shoulder.

All successful people are part of a team.  Your team may include friends, family, colleagues, clients, and anyone who is a part of your success.  From time to time, members of our team will have a temporary failure.

If you have structured your organization properly, these failures are never fatal.  When it becomes obvious that a mistake has been made, the first step is to simply stop and observe.  If you want to get out of a hole in which you find yourself, the first step is to stop digging.

Too often, when a mistake has been made, we have a knee jerk reaction trying to compensate for the situation.  This often leads to further disaster.

Many times in a football game, you will see a quarterback drop back, preparing to throw a pass.  If his protection breaks down, it is obvious that one of his blockers has made a mistake.

Generally, the best course of action for the quarterback, if he is unable to elude the defender, is simply to hold on to the ball and take a small loss and prepare for the next play.

Many times, if the quarterback tries to overcome the breakdown in his team’s protection all by himself, there is even a bigger loss or a fumble which can be disastrous.

Once you have determined a mistake has been made and you have pinpointed the problem, you must assess whether it is a mistake of effort or apathy.

If it is a mistake of effort, you simply need to adjust the course or direction slightly; but if it is a mistake of apathy, you have to get that team member fully engaged as quickly as possible or remove them from the team before the apathy becomes epidemic.

As you go through your day today, remember that trying and failing is a temporary condition, but not trying is permanent.

Today’s the day!

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Jim Stovall is the president of Narrative Television Network, as well as a published author of many books including The Ultimate Gift. He is also a columnist and motivational speaker. He may be reached by e-mail at JimStovall@aol.com or by visiting www.JimStovall.com

-can you share a time when you’ve either seen another person, or perhaps you yourself have used a past failure as a springboard for eventual success in a given area?

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