If you’re a parent or have spent any time with a child who is learning a new trick, you’re familiar with the phrase “Wait, that wasn’t it!” This is what my boys say when they want to show me a new skill they’re working on. When they were little, it might have been a somersault. A fingersnap. Whistling, bike-riding, or blowing a Bazooka bubble. Now, it is more like, say, surfing.

Or a guitar solo.

Having called me to watch, the pressure is on – and invariably, something goes wrong with the first few attempts.

“Wait, that wasn’t it! Let me do it again!” And so I stand patiently, head cocked and a faint smile on my lips, which I hope conveys the message “Take your time, everybody has to practice, don’t get furious at yourself, I’m on your side, sweetie,” hoping that the next try will be perfect…because if it isn’t, we’re in for a long haul. There could be 10 tries before perfection is achieved, the kid crumbles in frustration, or I throw in the towel, whichever comes first.

Wouldn’t it be great, my friend LIndsay suggested, if adults could ask for the same indulgence in our grown-up activities? What if you slaved over a presentation to a potential new client, only to bomb? As you’re being ushered out the door, wouldn’t it be incredible to say “Wait, that wasn’t it! I’ll do it better this time!” And THEY HAD TO LET YOU. Think of the applications. From bad hair days to those times you couldn’t come up with a clever comeback quickly enough, an instant second chance would be a godsend. Mistakes fixed! No regrets! A good outcome every single time!

An ancient Philadelphia PR man used to quip that his gravestone would read “For Immediate Release.” I know the perfect words for mine. “Wait! That Wasn’t It! LET ME TRY IT AGAIN!”

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