time2Note: I came across an article titled “The Biggest Wastes of Time We Regret When We Get Older” that I thought was important to share. It offers wise thoughts and suggestions, no matter how old or experienced you are; so much so, that I decided to make it the cornerstone of my next 4 blog posts. I hope you gain some of my additional insight, augmenting this article. 

The third one is about learning from our mistakes and not dwelling on them. From the article’s intro (and my added thoughts on each section):

We spend a lot of energy looking for shortcuts to save time, and sure, those shortcuts add up. But when I look back, my biggest time regrets aren’t spending too much time on Twitter or mismanaging my daily tasks. Those are bad habits, but there are bigger, more systematic time wasters that have really gotten in the way. Fixing these will free up a massive amount of time and energy.

Make and grow from mistakes

The article quotes a study whose author advises you not to look back. Not quite.

Look back, reflect on: what you did well, and what you learned from not doing so well. The assumption is that we learn from our mistakes, which becomes part of our skill set and tells the story of how we rose, not launched, but gradually added more layers to the “onion” so tell the story.

Look at your LinkedIn profile. Make it tell how your past colors your present situation. Then make your present tell your future aspirations.

Tell us why you do what you do (a familiar theme from me, huh?).

And ask others to endorse your skills and call on recommenders to tell us how well you do the why you do what you do. Be strategic and smart about asking for both.

And while I am on the topic of mistakes, a common one I encounter as a LinkedIn evangelist and trainer: do not make the mistake of allowing just anyone to endorse your skills. That just makes you look like you took your eye off the ball and could create an uncomfortable situation (from my book):

Endorsements by people who do not have direct experience with your skill, despite the fact they endorsed you with good intention or out of carelessness, need to be edited out. Again no worries, losing their endorsement is not an issue since they can neither help describe your skills anyhow nor assist you in being in the search results. Besides, LinkedIn does not notify them you deleted their endorsement.

Suppose I need a referral of a trusted financial advisor for baby boomers with older parents. You are one of those financial advisors, and I may know you from a brief meeting at a chamber event. Another day I am meeting with Carolyn, who has already endorsed you for your skills in Eldercare Financial Planning, and I explain why I need her input on the short list of quality candidates. Ahead of my conversation I did my homework and see you and she are mutual LinkedIn connections. I delved further in your profile and I saw she endorsed you for a skill in Eldercare Financial Planning. I ask her during my meeting how she knows your skill in that area. She stammers, then with some embarrassment admits she has no experience with you in that skill area.

How do you look?

How does she feel?

What do I think of you both now, especially you?

Have I wasted my time?

Uh oh, your work requires you to be thorough. Your brand is to be reliable and have an eye out for possible technical (tax, legal, documentary) roadblocks and to be able to react to new financial opportunities.

Here’s how to remove endorsers who do not know your skills in that area (scroll to the bottom of the link).

OK, now you know. Don’t be lax or unaware.

Mistakes happen and need to be cleaned up asap, damage control underway and not to be repeated. Learned from. Right?

I hear you agreeing.