Get Better, not Bitter

One of the best aspects of presenting to groups is getting questions. This is especially true when the audience is mostly composed of students who are not afraid to inquire deeper on a point made during the presentation. One recent probe sparked an extended discussion and makes for a nice addition to my personal belief that thoughts of abundance trump those of scarcity.

The discussion began when a student inquired about handling an employee situation after someone has done something wrong yet they insist that they’re right. After joking that a situation like that would never happen because HR is always right, I shared a story that affected me.  Without sharing the lurid details here, the story was about me being accused of doing something that I did not do. Rather than argue and hold hostility to those involved, there was reflection on the things that I had done in relation to the situation as well as the things that I had not done that could have prevented the misperception from occurring in the first place.  In short, it still benefitted me to learn from the situation and get better so that I would not be in the position again where I could be wrongly accused.

Even when one is not wrong and is still being accused, there is always room to improve. I reminded the group that learning from a negative situation can provide great dividends moving forward and that many of my most valuable lessons had come from the mistakes I’ve made, not the immediate successes.  Had I simply been bitter about being accused and reacted in a hostile manner, it is likely that the lessons learned would not be as positive and I would not have gotten better moving forward. To simplify it, it is important to get better, not bitter.

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