What went wrong? What can I learn?

It’s easy to forget to analyze mistakes. It’s easy to just keep trucking, to pass them up and never look back to consider what went wrong.

But that’s a second mistake. Each mistake offers an opportunity for reflection, for finding out what went wrong and what could be improved for next time. Because there will always be a next time, it seems. History repeats itself, especially for those who don’t pay attention enough to break the patterns.

Think about the daily checklists experiment for example. I’d lived through this before. I already knew checklists help me. Problem was, I forgot. I didn’t live the knowledge I knew.

So now, here I am, perfect opportunity to reflect on what happened, to realize that, “Oh, yeah, checklists make a big difference for me, at least at this point in my life.”

Reflecting on what went wrong is like running a pre-mortem, except in this case you have a real situation to analyze. You really know what went wrong, not some prediction of what could go wrong. You can actually run a real post-mortem.

So why not reflect, and learn from the reflection?