Making the Grade

Posted on August 9, 2007. Filed under: Uncategorized |



Failure. It’s a harsh and dominating word that is very quick to take over your conscience after a bad decision has been made. People usually blame failure on bad decision making, but isn’t there a difference between “making mistakes and being a failure”? (p. 203). In Harry Allen and Bonaro Overstreet’s book titled The Mind Alive, they discuss how we as decision makers can learn from mistakes rather than making excuses for our shortcomings and limitations.

Overstreet and Overstreet argue that when we don’t accept our bad decisions, then we limit the recycling of ideas, by this term we mean bad choices that can be learned from and translated into knowledge for future decisions.  When we limit or even ignore bad decisions it limits new decisions and therefore growth.



So what stops us from failing and making bad decisions? Knowledge. Information. Truth and facts. The more hard facts we absorb to base our decisions on, the easier and more successful the results will be. This doesn’t seem like such a difficult task, but sometimes, we fear asking questions of others to learn more information. Maybe it’s a bruise to our ego or fear of a looking ignorant (a bad decision maker), but somewhere along the way we lost our curiosity to ask, ‘why?’ or ‘how come?’ The poet Edwin Arlington Robinson said:

“What had truth done to us, that we must always be afraid of it, as a monster of a shape unknown?” (p. 207)


The fear of making a bad decision stems our desire to ask questions, which leads us right back around again to the lack of new information being generated. The solution? Ask. Question people’s decisions good or bad, learn from your own mistakes and from others, only this way will we better cope with making mistakes rather than labeling failures.


Text Credit: Overstreet, H.A. & Overstreet, B., The Mind Alive, Ch. 13, pp. 199-217, New York, NY, 1954.


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