Motivational Monday – Try and Try Again
For three years I had the privilege of editing a wonderful television series entitled “Drive: Noted from the Wilderness”. The show followed pro skateboarder Mike Vallely as he travelled across the United States and abroad, meeting young men and women who were skateboarders themselves, and in some fashion or another, overcoming great odds and doing something inspirational.
Whether he met with a group of American teen skaters who were determined to dispel the notion that all skateboarders are hoodlums by petitioning their town’s mayor and raising funds to build a skate park, or traveling to South Africa to build a skate ramp in a remote village and learn the true meaning of the word “Tribe”, every episode was a joy to work on and filled with powerful life lessons both skaters and non-skaters could appreciate.
One of my favorite episodes took Mike to Brazil where he met Sandro Santos, a young man in his early twenties who narrowly escaped death.
Like many young men and women in the poor neighborhoods of Brazil, Sandro had turned to a life of crime to help feed his family. Though he knew how dangerous it was he felt he had no other choice.
Everything changed when he discovered skateboarding. Sandro not only turned his life around but made it his personal mission to share the life lessons he learned to as many young men and women as he could.
He started with the children in his neighborhood and feeling called to reach out to teens who were being sucked into a life of crime as he had been, he began a program in a juvenile rehabilitation center. The core of his ministry is to teach a very simple concept — We all make mistakes and some mistakes are much bigger than others, but in life, just as in skateboarding, when you fall you must simply pick yourself up and try again.
As Mike Vallely so beautiful says, “these skaters have learned through the process of skateboarding how to rise above their environment.”
We all make mistakes.
But we cannot allow our mistakes to stop us from moving forward.
Our mistakes do not define us. Learning from our mistakes and rising above them is what forges our character… What leads us to making better choices and ultimately what makes us who we are.
As a mom one of the hardest things to do is to allow my children to make mistakes, because what I want more than anything is to protect my girls from pain. But I know how profoundly important it is to let my girls make mistakes because in then end it is the only way they will learn the lessons they must learn. So I fight my instinct to protect and let them make mistakes.
As you forge ahead on your path to life as you design it, you will make mistakes. That’s okay. Embrace those mistakes, learn from them and then forge ahead, wiser, stronger than you were before.