A while back, I spent a wonderful weekend in Saginaw, Michigan, with some really great…
Tip of the Week
Tip: Have a high MPT!
We live in a world full of acronyms. Everyone is familiar with some of the more common ones like, IRS (Internal Revenue Service), or FBI (Federal Bureau of Investigation), or CIA (Central Intelligence Agency). Everywhere we look, we see letters that represent something. Even as you drive down the highway you see signs that say things like, “Speed limit – 70 mph” (miles per hour). I’m sure you get the idea.
Well, today I want to introduce you to a new acronym that you should know. And even though is important to know your blood pressure, heart rate, and cholesterol count, there is nothing more important than your MPT. And, what does that stand for? Mistake pain threshold! That is the amount of pain you are willing to face by learning a new skill or starting a new relationship in your life. The scale runs from 100 to 1. The higher your number, the greater your capacity is for walking into the uncharted waters of life. The lower your number, the more you want to play it safe and never try anything new or risky! I was the one who invented the MPT concept; however, I will let you choose your own number. But remember, as the old saying goes, “no pain – no gain”!
The only way anyone succeeds in life is by making mistakes. It would be nice if we could learn everything we need to know by simply reading a book or having it explained to us by someone. But, personal experience teaches us that the greatest lessons in life are learned through painful mistakes.
As parents we try to teach our children good information so that they don’t have to make all of the mistakes
themselves. However, the truth of the matter is that children, as well as all the rest of us, have decided at some point not to listen to the advice given to us. So, we ended up making our own mistakes anyway.
Mistakes can be costly and painful. They can cost you a lot of money. They can cost you relationships. They can cost you personal health. And, in some cases, they can even cost you your life! That’s why it is important to live wisely and calculate to see if the choices and decisions you make will take you to the painful place your mistakes are willing to bring you. For they surely are willing to do it!
Recently I was reading a new financial book in which the author pointed out that there are different ways to become financially successful. One way, he joked, is to win the game show, Who Wants to be a Millionaire? He said that he believes that whoever designed that show must have been an academic because only an academic would think that knowing the right answers could make a person rich. The author made the point that very few people ever get rich just by knowing the right answers. Then he said something that was very profound, “Most people become millionaires by making mistakes first and learning from those mistakes – many, many mistakes!” When I read that, I couldn’t help but laugh and think, “That is the truth!” Almost everything that I know that really guides my life on a daily basis comes from my own personal experience of either doing something right and being glad that I did, or making a big mistake and learning from it.
In school, we were graded according to how many mistakes we made on our work. Our grades reflected our ability and understanding of the material. If we made too many mistakes, we could end up failing. Unfortunately, most of us learned from that experience to fear mistakes. However, I have discovered that school and life are very different in that respect. In school when we made a mistake, we were penalized for it. In life when we make a mistake, we are rewarded for it because we are able to learn from the mistake and change our direction or behavior in the future. Life, not school, greatly rewards mistake makers!
In 1975 I hired someone to build a chimney on our house. He told me he needed $300 up front to buy the necessary supplies, so I gave it to him. The next day, he did not show up to do the job. I called and he told me he had gotten busy but promised to be there the following day. However, the next day he did not come but again promised to be there the following day. Well, you already know where this is going. He never came to do the job and I lost my $300! I was young, inexperienced and made a terrible mistake by giving him money before he began the job.
I remember staying up all night worrying about how I could recover from the mistake of losing $300. Nearly 40 years later, I look back at that and it is almost humorous. I am not saying it is funny to lose $300, but I am saying that my MPT has grown a great deal over the years. And, for that I’m grateful. But, the only way it could have happened is the way it did happen – and that is by making mistakes. Beating myself up over past mistakes does no one any good. However, learning from them does me and everyone else a lot of good!
I encourage you to not be afraid of making mistakes and raise your own MPT. I am not advocating that you become a daredevil, risking your life or the safety of others. I am simply saying that when it comes to business and most of the daily decisions we make, it is best to make what you believe to be a wise decision and then let the “chips” fall where they may. If it is a good decision, then you can be glad and profit from it. If it is a bad one, then you will have the opportunity to learn from it. Allow the pain you experience from your mistakes to take you to a new level of success so you can reap the rewards they give you for your good efforts!
Tip: Have a high MPT!
Have a great week! God bless you!
Dr. Robert A. Rohm