What I Recently learned from Sir Elton John
For The Inner Work Out I am writing a bi-weekly newsletter. Here is a little excerpt I wrote for this reason.
Let's talk about mistakes and how you and I deal with them. Or let's say how Elton John is dealing with them. Because his book "Me: Elton John" - the official autobiography - is the reason why I am writing this. From the first page 'til the very end the reader gets nothing but the unadorned truth.
There have been incredible highs in the career of Sir Elton John but the lows have also been very very low. He said about himself: "When I was on drugs there was a monstrous side to me" and trust me, he was on drugs a lot. Basically the whole era of the swinging 70s. He writes about it in detail but that itself isn't what captured me so much. It was rather the WAY he wrote about it. Completely honest, no signs of trying to make it look better in retrospect and, to me incredibly inspiring, without any justification. He simply tells us what happened and leaves it to the reader to decide what to make of it. And you know what it did to me? I didn't judge him. I didn't shake my head. I started reflecting about how I deal with personal failures and mistakes. It made me again aware of how much stronger and more resilient one comes across if faults can just be acknowledged but not endlessly explained or justified. Because seeking to justify them puts the burden of sorting right from wrong in the wrong hands. Better to keep the ownership where it belongs. Elton John takes ownership for his mistakes, I will for mine.
So here is what I take away from the book and offer to you to ponder too: We all make mistakes. It's ok to make them. Whenever I can I will acknowledge them and be honest about it. Maybe I have to apologize to someone. Most important to me: Justification weakens everyone. Not just myself, as the person who made the mistake, but the people involved too. There is a lot more to explore on the topic. I will update you with more thoughts as they flow.
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