It’s time for the Summer Olympics, and it is a real treat watching so many athletic virtuosos gathered in one place. Olympians of course are there because they are the best; they are at the top of their game. Even so, occasionally an athlete will make a mistake, will underperform, will botch a routine. While I hate to see the heartbroken face of a young Olympian from any country, it does serve to remind us that even the best and the most talented among us can make mistakes. Winston Churchill defined success as the ability to go from failure to failure with enthusiasm. He knew what he was talking about. Other successful people who at one time experienced significant failures were Abraham Lincoln, Michael Jordan, Ludwig van Beethoven, and Thomas Edison. Our mistakes and failures are just as much a part of who we are as our achievements, and we should embrace them as such. To do less than that diminishes our humanity. And by doing so we give permission to those around us to do the same. To lie, betray, or demean others – these behaviors are wrong and are evidence of character defects. But mistakes, even those that are a result of carelessness, they are something quite different. If you make a mistake, try owning up to it immediately. You will be amazed at the personal and relational power that is set in motion if you do. And then tuck away your mistake for safe-keeping; what you have learned will come in handy next time.