The positive side of mistakes – Harvey Mackay

During an open house at school, Jenny started talking to one of her classmates.

“Who is that child?” her mother asked.


“What is Tommy’s full name?

The daughter responded, “The teacher calls him Tommy Sitdown.”

Today I celebrate children in honor of National Children’s Day, June 9, because children teach us so many lessons that we forget as we get older.

For example, children are more creative and more imaginative. Children don’t know what is and what is not possible. For them everything is feasible.

Children also dream more and bigger. I remind my audience to believe in yourself, even when no one else does. No one does this better than children. They think they can do anything.

Children are not afraid. They are not afraid of rejection or what people think of them. They don’t worry about the future.

The children start anew every day. They are not afraid to try new things. They’re happy. They strive to do what makes them happy. And they laugh a lot.

Children forgive and forget. If they get angry, they usually move on to something else soon after and forget what was worrying them. They don’t hold grudges.

Children make friends easily. They understand that the best vitamin for developing friends is B1.

Children are incredibly perceptive. They can spot a faker with dizzying speed, and while tact isn’t always among their strongest attributes, it’s hard to argue with their frank honesty.

Children get excited about life in general. They see everything with new eyes, knowing that they will find something new and different every time they look.

My friend the late Jim Rohn, a master speaker and motivator, encouraged people to “practice being like a child.” Jim said there are four ways to be more like a child, no matter how old you are.

First, be curious. “Learn to be curious like a child. Children can ask a million questions. You think they’re done. They have another million… Children use their curiosity to learn.”

Next, “learn to get excited like a child… so excited that you hate going to bed at night. I can’t wait to get up in the morning. “So excited you’re about to explode.” Then he goes one step further: “If you’re too old to get excited, you’re too old.”

Faith is Jim’s third childlike quality. He said: “Too often adults tend to be overly skeptical. Some adults even have a tendency to be cynical.” He added that adults need proof that something is good before they believe it. Children are not like that.

Finally, Jim cited confidence as a childhood virtue that many adults have forgotten. “Have you heard the expression ‘sleep like a baby’? That’s all. Childhood confidence. After you’ve gotten an A+ for the day, leave it to someone else,” he said.

Herb Cohen, author of the New York Times bestseller “You Can Negotiate Anything,” believes that children are among the most successful negotiators. He told me, “Children are people with no formal authority or power, but they seem to get what they want.”

Herb listed four examples: No. 1, kids aim high. They understand that if you ask for more, you get more.

Second, “No” is an open negotiating position. Many people think that “no” is final. Not children.

Third, children form coalitions. If they get a no from their mother, they go to their father and then their grandparents.

Lastly, children tend to be tenacious and persistent. They wear you down. So be persistent, repeat your point over and over again. Use the other side down.

Children are good negotiators because they are naive. They say things like, “I don’t know. I don’t understand. Help me.” So, he thinks like an adult, but negotiates like a child.

Biologist Rachel Carson observed: “A child’s world is fresh, new and beautiful, full of wonder and excitement. It is our misfortune that for most of us that clear vision, that true instinct for what is beautiful and inspiring, is dimmed and even lost before we reach adulthood.”

Mackay’s moral: listen to your inner child.