Stupidity Can Be A Good Thing

I am submitting my article a little later than usual this month. I had to wait for the insurance claim to be settled and for Dell to ship my new laptop computer. There was no way I could have written this article on my old computer after it was run over and mutilated by a 5,000lb SUV.

The exact circumstances of the accident aren't important but suffice it to say, there was a great deal of extreme stupidity involved in the mishap (all of it mine). It was a very sad experience watching the poor little laptop twitching in the road and taking its last charge from the rapidly depleting energy source of the broken, twisted battery that powered this once proud Inspiron 4000 during its short but glorious career. I stood there wishing there was something I could do to save it (but I had already done more than enough!). If only I had treated it better. If only I had used it more gently. If only I hadn't placed it in my driveway and backed over it!

My stupidity knows no boundaries. Of course I have to draw from my own real life experiences to write these articles and feeling stupid (and having done stupid things), is the topic of this one. The computer mutilation is just one in a lifetime of accidents, mistakes, mishaps and misjudgments that have plagued and followed me. But if everything went smoothly everyday how would we know our strength or resolve. If we were never tested we would have no reason to read self-help books, go to seminars, attend lectures, and look in the mirror daily asking "how are you going to get out of this one"?

Everyday is another adventure (good or bad)! This is the standard answer I have when asked how business is or how am I doing. It is accurate, factual and the absolute truth. I know I am going to be challenged and tested from the minute I wake up in the morning to the minutes I lie tossing in bed at night. I know I will make stupid comments and stupid decisions. I know that I will be taken seriously while joking and taken jokingly while being serious. I know I will be misquoted and misunderstood while trying to be clever and witty. I will neither make friends or influence people. But this is as a worse case scenario. What can I accomplish on a really good day when very little of my stupidity shows through? There is only one way to know.

I have to try my best but be prepared for the worst. I have to think positively but be prepared for negative thoughts from others. I have to do two smart things for every one stupid thing. Most importantly, I have to learn from mistakes and from others more knowledgeable than me. I have to attend meetings, go to seminars and look for ways to keep improving myself and my business.

I always keep in mind that the definition of a truly stupid person is someone that keeps making the same mistakes but expects a different outcome each time.

Gary Wiesner is co-owner of Pro-Auto Recyclers, Williamstown, New Jersey

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