mistakes jeff russell

A Few Words About Mistakes From Our President, Jeff Russell

I often find myself going back to older books and notes I’ve jotted down. I recently pulled this one out: The Book of Mistakes by Skip Prichard. It’s an excellent and very unique book. 

It deals with three characters throughout three different times in history: a monk in 1425 England, a girl named Aria from the American colonies in the 1770s, and a young man struggling in present times. 

Here are some of the mistakes discussed in the book and some of my thoughts around them: 

Mistake #1: Working on someone else’s dreams. This made me think of ‘brules.’ The BS rules that other people create for you, which include all of the things we needed to be, didn’t need to be, were awesome at, or sucked at.

Mistake #2: Allowing someone else to define your value. When I read this one, I reminded myself that I have to be true to ME. We cannot let anything come between us and our purpose and must remember that there are no limitations to what we are capable of.

Mistake #3: Accepting excuses. This one is two-fold. We have to strive not to make excuses for ourselves and avoid folks who encourage or enable excuses. That is unless you’re okay with not going anywhere in life. Use your positive self-talk if you find this happening because excuses can’t live in our minds and are suffocated by positive self-talk. 

Mistake #4: Surrounding yourself with the wrong people. Your parents may have said something like this to you when you were a kid. The truth is, it’s still very applicable in adult life. Friends determine your fate. You are the medium of the five people you hang out with most. Look to your left/right. You’re in the middle. How does that feel? 

Mistake #5: Getting stuck in your comfort zone. Sure, it feels good because it’s comfortable. But growth comes when you can feel comfortable with being uncomfortable. So push yourself. Make it a goal to put yourself in a situation this week that makes you uncomfortable. Mediocrity is the end result of too much comfort, so get out of your zone. 

Mistake #6: Allowing temporary setbacks to become permanent failures. Life isn’t perfect, but we cannot allow our current circumstances to define our destiny. Remind yourself that growth comes from failure, and because your thoughts control your future, you will want to make them good ones. 

Mistake #7: Trying to blend in instead of standing out. This relates to Mistake #5. Push yourself, learn, do something new and different! Greatness stands out, and if you’re true to your personality and quirks, your uniqueness will naturally stand out too. 

Mistake #8: Thinking that there is a fixed/limited amount of success available. If you continually think this is the case, it will become your reality. There are unlimited possibilities. The only limitations to worry about are the ones that you create in your mind. 

Mistake #9: Believing you have all the time in the world. Live each day as if it’s your first and your last. Most of our stress is about the past or future, which is a complete waste of time. Be present. I love this quote by Steve Jobs: “Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life.” 

So, as you go into this new week, keep this list handy. If you find yourself going down any of these rabbit holes, bring yourself back. Like with anything in life, this takes practice and awareness. 

Life is good! — Jeff 

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