Accidents Happen

I was working on a short article about clear broth, thin soup, and how work feels that way these days for so many people. It is a soup that is unsatisfied and people keep feeding on it.

I use Dragon NaturallySpeaking and said, “Clear broth” and it deleted everything I dictated up until that point— the entire article. I don’t know how to retrieve it or if it’s even possible to. It’s not retrievable in Word and, momentarily, I was tempted to invest a lot of time to retrieve it.

It wasn’t the best piece of work I’ve done but it was good. Now, I could’ve written the entire piece again but decided against it, preferring to take a lesson from it and move forward.

If you’ve ever watched the play, “Les Mis,” (pick one of the examples of the 10th-anniversary performance on YouTube or, if available, the movie on whatever streaming service you use)  there are many breathtaking songs in it. One, very early in the play/movie is a song where Jean Valjean is caught stealing silver from a monastery that he is briefly staying in. When questioned by police, the priest who runs the monastery claims that he is given the silver as a gift to him and says them away.

He tells Valjean, “But remember this, my brother, see this higher plan, you must use this precious silver, to become an honest man. By the witness of the martyr, by the passion and the blood, God had raised you out of darkness, I have bought your soul for God.”

Accidents happen. Mistakes happen. There are people who will help you. There are few mistakes so critical, few accidents so deadly that life is not retrievable having made them.

The questions become:

What did you learn from it?

What can you do differently next time?

Can you share the gift with others that you received from this experience in a way that they can receive it?

So, as my wife drinks the clear broth that she is required to have on the day before her colonoscopy that gave me the idea for an article about clear broth and thin soup and a recipe for giving substance to the clear broth of our work lives through connection, courses and care, the accident that I committed has been a good reminder for me and hopefully for you about forgiving myself for my imperfections and making a good stew from the leftovers.

Ⓒ The Big Game Hunter, Inc., Asheville, NC 2020


Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter
Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter

Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter is a career and leadership coach who worked as a recruiter for more than 40 years. He is the Career Angles | Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunterhost of “No BS Job Search Advice Radio,” the #1 podcast in iTunes for job search with more than 2000 episodes, and is a member of The Forbes Coaches Council.

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