Learn from my mistakes

Learn from my mistakes!

A scientist once told me he learns as much from an experiment that goes wrong as one that goes well.  I have dwelt on this for some time and I think now I realize how this can occur, but I am still working on it!  After all, I keep making mistakes so maybe this way I can turn them into a positive instead of a negative!

I once heard a story about a young, up and coming apprentice recently hired in a law firm.  This guy really wants to succeed, so he decides to go talk with the “big boss” in his law firm about how to succeed.  He gets an appointment, goes into the boss’s office and pops the question, “How can I succeed?”  The older lawyer, sits back in his chair, contemplates a few minutes and replies, “Wisdom.”  The young man listens but still he wants to know more, so he follows up with, “And how do you get wisdom?”  The boss waits a moment, then calmly looks the young man in the eye and simply says, “Experience.”  Now, the apprentice thinks, he is getting closer to the heart of things.  In the quiet of the office, he mulls this answer over in his mind, the older lawyer studying the apprentices face, watching the gears of his mind turning.  Finally, the young man seems to accept the last comment, but summons up his courage to ask one final question.  He asks, “How do you get experience?”  The big boss nods knowingly, seeming to expect this question.  He sighs a little, smiles to himself, looks thoughtfully into the young mans eyes and says simply, “Mistakes.”

Ya know, I think the old guy had humility!  Great mindset.

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STOP-Stop, Think, Observe, Plan

The rescue acronym S.T.O.P., which stands for Stop, Think, Observe, Plan is invaluable.  If you are web savvy, type this in and you will find thousands of websites dealing with this.  Here is what the website, “Equipped To Survive, a Kid’s Wilderness Survival Planner” has to say  Their website is: http://www.equipped.com/kidprimr.htm

“In almost any emergency, but especially in a survival situation, it is critical that you first S.T.O.P.

S” is for Stop. Take a deep breath, sit down if possible, calm yourself and recognize that whatever has happened to get you here is past and cannot be undone. You are now in a survival situation and that means . . .

T” is for Think. Your most important asset is your brain. Use it! Don’t Panic! Move with deliberate care. Think first, so you have no regrets later. Take no action, even a foot step, until you have thought it through. Unrecoverable mistakes and injuries, potentially serious in a survival situation, occur when we act before we engage our brain. Then . . .

O” is for Observe. Take a look around you. Assess your situation and options. Consider the terrain, weather and resources. Take stock of your supplies, equipment, surroundings, your personal capabilities and, if there are any, the abilities of your fellow survivors.

P” is for Plan. Prioritize your immediate needs and develop a plan to systematically deal with the emergency and contingencies while conserving your energy. Then, follow your plan. Adjust your plan only as necessary to deal with changing circumstances.


This last statement, I believe, is a positive, correct mindset when faced with such a situation.  You will survive.  But remember humility.  I would caution against being a “rugged individual” in these situations, thinking, “Hey, I can get myself out of this no problem.  After all, I have all the training.  Just watch this!”  Pride in these situations is usually fatal.  Ask anyone who has taken a hunter safety course in America and they can tell you about the true stories reenacted in movies.  Some are very tragic as they involve whole families.

Conversely, dominating your thinking with a very negative mindset, “I am going to die!,” will have rather unpleasant results as well!  I have heard that in those situations, if your mindset is dominated by the belief you are going to die, you usually find a way of doing it.

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Pride goes before the fall

“Pride goes before the fall.”  I have found out, the bigger the pride, the bigger the fall!  Ouch.  So, I try to keep a humble attitude here.  “Ok, any suggestions anyone?”  is usually a great start here for me when in a group.   More on this later I am sure!

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Gardening and Traveling in the Desert

Marhaba (welcome in Arabic) to this blog which is about my experiences gardening in a desert climate and traveling desert locations.  I have traveled many deserts in the American Southwest and now I travel and garden in a Middle Eastern desert.  I hope you enjoy your visit as this blog grows and matures over time, like good Arabic dessert coffee.  Istamti (enjoy life, enjoy food), shokran (thank you) for visiting this blog and ma salama (with peace goodbye)!

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