During lunch with my son and daughter, my son and I were discussing some life matters, and he was lamenting about a decision he had made, and he said “Well, Dad, you know what they say, hindsight is 20-20—easy now to see where I went wrong.”

I smiled and said – “Well, not always.”  His eyebrows raised a little and said, “What do you mean?”  I responded, “If that was correct, why do people repeat the same mistakes.”

To accentuate the positive, how can we improve on some poor decisions.  Author Julie Rains in an article titled How to Learn From Your Mistakes (see link below) suggest seven steps one can take to analyze and learn from your mistakes.

Obviously, the negative outcome of your decision is causing you to look in the rearview mirror, and as the author shares the first important step is to Recognize the Mistake.  For any improvement or life change to occur, taking ownership is the first key—and do not get caught blaming others—own up to your responsibilities.

Another suggestion by Rains is to do some Research to see how others would approach a similar matter. I have found obtaining counsel from those who have knowledge of the subject matter goes a long way in making a sound decision.

Finally, one of my favorite suggestions by the author is Apply What You Have Learned.  It’s easy to say “boy, I won’t do that again,” but without identifying the cause of failure, and having some action plan when you see the same situation…..you might be likely to repeat the decision.

Much can be learned from our mistakes if we do reflect and learn why the outcomes were not positive, and apply the knowledge accordingly.


Be sure to listen to the Clouser On Business podcasts.  You can subscribe on TuneIn, ITunes, Stitcher, Podbean, and at www.clouseronbusiness.com.