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How to Win

Other People’s Mistakes

Last night on a flight from Atlanta, our pilot slammed on the brakes shortly after landing.

People flew forward in their seats. Bags crashed into the side of the overhead bins. You could hear the gasps throughout the cabin.

At that moment, you were glad you had done what the stewardess told you to do: fasten your seatbelt, put your seatback in an upright position and make sure your tray tables are fully secured.

Sometimes this advice makes you roll your eyes, when it’s given over the intercom and repeated as the stewardesses walk the aisle.

But in this case, the advice prevented injury. It made you say, “So THAT’S why they tell you to do all those things.”

“Learn from the mistakes of others,” Eleanor Roosevelt said. “You can’t live long enough to make them all yourself.”

Advice about seatbelts comes because someone got hurt — or worse — by not wearing them. We get advice everywhere: stop signs, speed limits, laws against driving and texting.

“Experience is the name everyone gives to his mistakes,”  said playwright Oscar Wilde.

Ed Smith, author of the international best-seller “Sixty Seconds to Success,” sends out a daily email item called the “One-Minute Motivator.” Today’s message included this advice: “Be a continuous learner.”

“You learn something every day if you pay attention,” said writer Ray LeBlond.

It’s a wise person who heeds the warnings against drugs, alcohol and cigarettes. And if only Captain Smith had paid attention to iceberg warnings! The Titanic would have been safe.

“Looking back, you realize that everything would have explained itself if you had only stopped interrupting,”  said writer Robert Brault.

If you’re going to make mistakes, at least make your own!

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TotalGamePlan offers Winner’s Workshops for schools, sports teams and businesses. The emphasis is on motivation, skill-building and teamwork. To bring a Winner’s Workshop to your group, just email coachtully@totalgameplan.com or call (973) 800-5836. To order a copy of “Ten Things Great Coaches Know,” click here.


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