I was recently attending a conference of business owners and leaders. During one of the sessions the speaker pulled out a #2 pencil and asked us what we thought about it.
Most of us talked about how it reminded us of our early days of education and test taking. You remember those days of taking a test with a #2 pencil? Well, maybe you don’t. With mobile phones, laptops, and Microsoft Word, you don’t see many people using pencils these days.
The presenter went on to talk about how one day his mentor gave him a pencil with an eraser to remind him of five important lessons an eraser can teach us:
Lesson #1 – Erasers allow us to correct mistakes, and mistakes are correctable. Everyone makes mistakes. You have to erase them and let go.
Lesson #2 – Erasers give us the power to adjust, and our best work requires adjustments and updates. Your plans absolutely must be written down, but they need to be written in pencil. The world and your situations will change. The eraser will help you be more flexible and adaptable.
Lesson #3 – Erasers give us a safety net and remind us that the pressure isn’t as great as we might think. If you write in pen, there is pressure to get the answers right the first time. Having an eraser takes off some of that pressure.
Lesson #4 – Erasers invite us to edit. Results of a second (or third) draft are almost always better. If you don’t succeed the first time, the eraser lets you make edits and try again.
Lesson #5 – Erasers erase the past and help us focus on what’s next. Yes, you must learn from the past, but you must be forward focused.
Hopefully, someday you will meet someone you know will benefit from these lessons. Give them a pencil and share the meaning of the eraser so they can edit their story.
Until next time…I’m Marty, make every minute count.