This may sound outrageous, but I humbly contend that I have never made a mistake.

Now sure– if you were to ask my dear wife, Bagel, she’d disagree with you with the force of a thousand suns. But honestly– sincerely speaking, I genuinely feel like I’ve never made a mistake.

First, what is a mistake? Now, I know this seems somewhat rhetorical/pedagogical/didactic/pretentious/eye-rolling. But bear with me a moment. I do feel this definition is really important to precisely nail down.

If you make a decision with the most knowledge and information you have at that moment, then I argue you’ve done the very best you possibly can, regardless of whatever outcome results. Even if you are ultimately in error, I would argue –in good faith– that you didn’t make a mistake.

An example: After much searching, you applied and got a new job at a company that initially looked very enticing. But after several months, you realize you hate your coworkers, the job, and decide to leave. Was quitting your old job (which was very lucrative) and taking this new job a mistake? Nope.

In my mind, a mistake is when you have all the available knowledge. But you simply miscalculate or mistype. Meaning to type “the” and instead typing “teh.” (Happens to best of us.) That’s a mistake.

A good heuristic for whether you’ve made a mistake: (Bear in mind, this exercise only works if you’re honest with yourself!)

If you could travel back in time to the exact moment you made the decision, would you have done things any differently?

As the Olympic Rower, Gold Medalist Greg Searle once famously remarked, “There are no sacrifices. There are only choices.”