Turn It Around

For every single item of furniture we’ve assembled so far, we pulled at least one switcheroo. While putting together our bed, we slipped the topper into the pocket where the mattresses were supposed to go. The legs of the desk, we connected the wrong way around. And yesterday, I broke into a good sweat trying to figure out why the desk chair’s backrest wouldn’t fold into place. The answer? I had screwed on the armrests on the false sides of the chair.

The first time something like this happened, I let out a big sigh. “Ughhh. Now we have to do it all AGAIN.” With the chair, I still sighed, but I was more excited to be able to complete the task. “Finally! That’s how it works! Let’s finish this thing!”

Perhaps you’ll hold the golf club the wrong way during your first lesson. Maybe you’ll screw the doors onto the back side of your TV cabinet or start your flowchart from the end of the process instead of the beginning. So what? Just turn it around, put things in order, and keep going.

Most mistakes are reversible, and no one cares that you suck at assembling IKEA furniture. Don’t pity yourself for getting things wrong. Everyone does. Use the spark of insight as new momentum to push projects to completion, and don’t waste another second on an error that already lies in the past. By the time you sit in your chair, hand off your documentation, or hit 200-yard drives, you’ll barely remember that you once couldn’t tell left from right — and that’s exactly how life should be.