“Don’t be embarrassed by your failures, learn from them and start again.” Richard Branson.

The title of this post is very appropriate because two days ago I did fall.  I was walking by gorgeous big German Shepherd puppy who is almost my weight but is mighty powerful, he wanted to run and I fell.  I remember going down completely on this unmade road, his lead was in my hand and I was spun around what seems a few times as he tried to run, ah well, it hurt my ego and my body, but two days on, I reckon I learnt something from my mistake. Until we both get the hang of heel (for any non dog owners out there, this word might confound you, it means getting the dog to walk by my side and only focus on me!!), I will be using a slip lead for Oscar (my pup) and will pay more attention to practising ‘heel’.

So for the past two days I have been nursing my injured shoulder, it is not that painful but this fall did cause me some deep reflection.  

If I learn from my mistakes then the mistake had a purpose, and has mere mortals let’s face it, we are bound to make mistakes in life, in my case, a fair few mistakes.  Learning from my mistakes means I really want to prevent repeating the same mistake again and again.  I like the phrase ‘take care’ which in the context of my recent fall implies I wasn’t taking care of myself but I really wasn’t paying attention. In fact I was in a rush to walk past a field of other German Shepherd dogs and their handlers doing their training.    This fall of mine is a good example for the mistakes we humans tend to make as we walk through our life, are we listening to what is going on? Sometimes, we are rushing wanting to get from point A to point B without giving it due regard.  Since I have become a dog owner, my coaching knowledge does help me to reflect a great deal on what I am doing right and what I am getting wrong. I have realised having such a powerful dog means the one thing I am no longer allowed to do which is how I used to operate, and that is to rush through life.   Being calm, kind and having a sense of steadiness are key ingredients to having a successful and happy walk with my dog. I am learning to slow down not something that is natural to me because whatever, I do I am always on a mission to get things done, fast and now.

I know I am talking about my relatively new experience as a dog owner, but what I am talking about applies to life in general, whether we are at work or at home, if we are in a mad rush we leave ourselves open to making mistakes and we may miss a golden opportunity to grow,  but if we continue in that same vein aren’t we leaving ourselves exposed to even more frustration and more stress?

In life we have to try many new things for the first time, in my case, raising a powerful dog like Oscar is me pushing myself to prove worthy of being a good dog handler.  Each day in our lives we are given an opportunity to learn and rise to be our best self.  Don’t let a learning opportunity miss you by, sometimes a chance encounter can change the direction of our travel for the better. But for that to happen we really need to listen to ourselves and the universe, and we need to be calm and present in that moment.

I know my lovely dog has come into my life as my teacher, with him, I am beginning to see that he gives me the opportunity to learn from other experienced dog owners. He also gives me the opportunity to boost my confidence, and while I am still a novice in the world of dogs, I can honestly say, even after a few falls and my many mistakes, I am glad he has given me few insights on life. 

-I don’t try I will never know about my greatness and about how really wonderful this world is.

-I need to listen and learn from my mistakes.

Each moment in life we are given a chance to learn and grow, don’t miss tuning into that.

I am an Executive Coach, lawyer, author and my father’s proud daughter. I know I have learnt from my own mistakes and from mistakes made by others, but learning from my ‘failures’ is how I have learnt to stand up again and find my purpose.  I help my clients to get unstuck and to see what they perceive as a missed opportunity as a trampoline to bounce back from, we all can find our way back and see a new path ahead.


9th May, 2022

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My Dad and Me – by Daxa Patel (daxapatelmydadandme.co.uk)