What part of ‘mistake’ don’t you understand?

Learn from mistakes

Hello there and thanks for stopping by. This post took me (Mike Grabham) literally more than 20 years to write. Yes sure it is about past experiences but it is more about readiness. It took me 20 years to be READY to share this with the outside world.  I am still not sure what’s the best way to do this but it’s like creating a new product you just need to push it out there…and see what happens. Perfection is not a requirement. So here it is and feel free to comment.

For most of my life I have always tried to be better, smarter and help create value for others. That last part of “value” is the interesting one. “How to make myself more valuable”.  I am not like a fine wine!

Therefore, I just have to put the story out there and figure it out from there in true entrepreneurial spirit. So I am clear I didn’t invent or come up with some cool way to do this. I know that the method(s) of mass distribution has been around for many years but I WAS NOT ready for the work. Yes technology was ahead of me and my ability to cope with all the possibilities of just putting it out there brings.

I am ready now

I am finally ready to share what drives me to try to add value to people around me and my community, why I help others. Why my wife and I started Survive the Streets to help the homeless. Why I talk to strangers or the person in the room who is not talking to anyone. Why I sometimes don’t talk to anyone. I have a theme that I try to follow of adding value. Now I am not perfect so I don’t ALWAYS follow this theme but for 95% of my day I am trying to add value.

Most of us have things in our past that define or guide us into the future. We had a meaningful discussion with a teacher, relative, coach, parent or maybe a stranger. Maybe you read a book that changed the way you thought, or saw a movie/documentary. But for many of us it was a “point in time” that we can remember that formed a strong opinion or belief on how we should live our lives. What’s yours?

For me it was when I was 12, I read a book called “Your Erroneous Zone” by Wayne Dyer. That book made me rethink how to experience emotions and how some emotions are just not great for us. It changed the way I thought about myself and the self talk I had.  It also changed the way I ate as it talked about foods that are just not good for your body. I literally stopped eating any sugar for the next 5 years. The second life altering event was the nine months in prison. Now this was a much more complex time and it changed the trajectory of who I would become. This event has a lot of baggage attached to it but it is what I took from this experience that allows me to feel I can add value to thousands of people. So that is my why. Like Simon Sinek says you need to find your why before getting started. Here is mine watch 2 mins. What’s your why in life?

I was telling someone about this event and the first thing she asked was what caused you to go to prison for 9 months. Simply put, bad decisions with alcohol and not listening to smarter people. Here is how it happened. Watch 2:30 of this.

I looked at it as an opportunity to learn and be smarter with my decisions. Once I became property of Arizona Department of Corrections I decided then and there to create my plan. Watch 2:25 of this to learn about my plan.

During the time I spent in jail I wrote in my journal, went to AA meetings, worked out, read books and studied business and decision making. I also read biographies of successful people. I worked on me and the internal thinking that we all have.  I was laser focused on learning and just being a better human on this earth. Watch 4:46 of this to learn how I did it.

People are still people no matter where you meet them. I believe there are 10 times more good people in the world than bad. My roommate Ed was a positive influence on me and he killed a person. You can’t judge. Don’t always believe what you see or what you have read on the internet. 😃 Watch 1:05 of this to hear about Ed.

January 17th 1992 was the day I left some friends behind, along with the part of me who was not always comfortable in his skin. It was the day I vowed to not rest on past accomplishments or dwell on past mistakes. It was the day that adding value became my theme in life. I am still working on it but I am ready to help thousands of others be better humans.

If you have made a big mistake forget it, even if it’s what you think people see. The result of your mistakes is actually what people see. Your result can be a smarter, better person if you choose to focus on the learning and not the mistake. Watch 2:33 to see the results.

Here is my ask to everyone who has read this far. Share with others what experience(s) set you on your path good or bad. Share your why with your friends. Share your mistakes. Most of all don’t judge someone by what they appear to be. Do your best to ignore bias against the underdogs. Support women, support people of color and support those with disadvantages based on their past or where they live.  

Here is another post that I published about bias in our world today and methods we can use to help slow it down.

If you would like to watch the entire video you can see all 18 mins of it here.


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