It’s interesting to hear people discuss, at great length, how something happened. Most times it’s over things that didn’t turn out good. They offer this story and then tweak it into that story. They retell the story to five different people. Each time, using the same in depth detail, they share their explanation for others to hopefully agree with.
What is even more fascinating is that the explanation of how did it happen is tweaked until we feel comfortable with its story. Once that happens, we then tell the story as a subject matter expert and can justify why this bad outcome happened to us.
I now have changed my reaction to this common event. I have less tolerance for learning about how did it happen. It’s done. Especially in our personal lives where we don’t do the same thing regularly. It’s done. Something definitely happened but understanding it will not change the outcome. I am more concerned with what do I do now.
The sadness comes in when someone spends a lot of time telling people how did it happen and then seeing them experience the poor outcome again within a year. And then it happens again.
Their stories are missing one important character. Themselves. Rarely, when I hear any story about how did it happen, is their any self critique of what role they played in the outcome. How did it happen stories is usually about everyone else. And it’s never about ourselves. When this happens, no learning can occur. The next outcome, given related circumstances, will always turn out poor.
It’s hard to hide but we do it easily when talking about how did it happen. Don’t fall in to this trap. Others may have messed up, but most times we are not as blameless as we share with others.
Making mistakes is ok. Owning up to them turns how did it happen stories from a feel good story to a valuable teaching moment for us to grow from.