In the 1993 movie “Rising Sun” starring Sir Sean Connery and Wesley Snipes, Wesley Snipes is complaining to Sean Connery…
(pardon the language, this is a direct movie quote)
Snipes: “The Chief said we fucked up, He’s blaming us for..”
Connery (interrupting): “The Japanese have a saying, Fix the problem, not the blame. Find out what’s fucked up and fix it. Nobody gets blamed. We’re always after who fucked up. Their way is better.”
Connery was talking about the world of business, as this is truly what the film is all about, despite the murder mystery, martial arts, intrigue, and plot twists. The movie was an expose on what some men would do to advance their cause and “win.” In this case, cover up was discovered of a murdered call girl who attended a party hosted by a large Japanese corporation trying to buy an American defense contracting company. Let’s put that aside and go back to the meaning of the quote.
How often do we see people throwing blame in all directions to hide their own faults and failures?
“The sun was in my eyes”
“The track was wet”
“Player X didn’t do his job, causing the team to fail.”
“The (opposing political party) is doing (alleged malfeasance) causing (exaggerated disappointment you should really be concerned about until the next big news story).”
“The market didn’t behave as planned”
What if we applied Connery’s advice to our own lives?
First, we must address failure.
I’ve said lots of times, “Failure is not the opposite of success, but an integral part of it.”
I know I’ve told my kids a hundred times.
I can remember being shocked when I heard President Obama saying during a public address that failure was not an option and has no place in his administration. How can any organization move forward successfully if all its members can’t make a decision for fear of being blamed, and then punished?
Failure, and the mistakes that lead to them, is how we learn. It’s how we succeed. If we are concerned more about being blamed for a mistake than what we could learn from it to move forward, will we ever actually move? Or will we stagnate?
In the 2000 film, The Replacements (starring Keanu Reeves), the football coach asked the team their greatest fear. In a moment of humor, one of the players answered “Spiders.” This led to a raucous conversation about phobias amongst the players. Shane Falco (Keanu Reeves) simply said “quicksand.”
The others were confused, and then continued with their phobias. The coach quieted everyone down and asked Falco to explain.
He replied, “You're playing and you think everything is going fine. Then one thing goes wrong. And then another. And another. You try to fight back, but the harder you fight, the deeper you sink. Until you can't move... you can't breathe... because you're in over your head. Like quicksand.”
Second, we must look at blame. We are under this impression that if we find the person to blame, or if we can shift blame to another person, the failure is eliminated. Wrong.
When we are afraid of blame, we take that first step into quicksand. Then everything goes wrong. Then the head hunting begins. Someone must pay. We are in over our heads because we are hiding from the blame or trying to divert it. Then we freeze and stagnate.
Blame has nothing to do with mistakes or failure.
When I was on the police department, we did a lot of training. We trained on how to conduct training. We would “what if” every possible scenario until we could account for every possible way Mr. Murphy (of Murphy’s Law) could announce his appearance.
Gun jammed in a fire fight? Fix it and move on. Not in a good position for cover? Move. Made a mistake, fix it. Get the job done. Move forward.
I went through FTO School (Field Training Officer – the guys who train new officers) twice. We were told that each time a new officer moves to a different FTO, there would be a drop in the learning curve. The new guy would make mistakes. It is inevitable. Deal with it. We were instructed to tell our new recruits, “Aside from killing someone, there’s nothing you can do today I cannot fix.”
Sure, we would document that mistake in his Daily Observation Report. We would fix the mistake on the street. But later in private we would teach the New Guy the better way of handling a similar situation.
What if we addressed our lives as if mistakes were just ….. mistakes. What if we looked at failures as a part of how things are accomplished?
What parts of life can you fix. What parts of your life are not fully functioning? Take a cold, hard, truthful look at where you can improve what’s broken. Is it your work? Your home life? Your diet? Your lack of enjoyment or joy? Your financial situation? Instead of blaming every possible factor involved in the minutiae of the failure, just fix the problem, and move on. Address the failure honestly, without self-deprecation. Don’t get caught up in the quicksand, accept what is. Accept it and move forward.
I have my own trail of failures. Without them, I wouldn’t be where I am. Without my mistakes, I wouldn’t have a direction. Things that were taken away from me, were removed to make room for better things. Plans that didn’t work out allowed me to change directions and chart a new path. I keep going because of my mistakes, despite my mistakes. I don’t stop moving for fear of a failure.
Stay out of the blame game. Accept failures, mistakes, and errors. Fix it and move on. Even if it’s in a new direction. This way is better.
My beautiful friends, this week in our Tai Chi practice, let’s visit the Tai Chi Ruler. It’s a fun set of exercises that build strength, flexibility, and start moving Qi energy in the right direction in our bodies.
As always, if anyone is interested in discovering how Massage, Reiki, Acupressure, and Vibration (sound therapy) work together to promote health, contact me to set up an appointment. I’m on Facebook Messenger or can be reached by text 812.568.5356.
Classes are as follows.
All classes are pay as you go. No contracts or commitments.
Dubois County Museum
Classes are $12.
Tri State Holistic Wellness
500 Saint Phillips Rd 47712
Classes are $10 cash
Saturday 11:00 am
Unity of Evansville
4118 Pollack Ave 47714
Classes are $10 cash
I'm available by appointment throughout the week in Evansville for
Reiki / Acupressure
Herbalism / Nutrition
sessions. $60 cash
Message me by text, email, or Facebook Messenger to schedule an appointment.
In the Tao,