A mistake made multiple times is a decision.  – Benjamin Franklin

I heard this quote recently and I’ve been turning it over in my mind.

I’m not convinced I totally agree, but there’s something to it…

I make plenty of mistakes. I often repeat the same ones… i.e., not being as patient with my wife and kids as I would like to be.

The core of this quote is about responsibility and victim-hood.

I once saw someone break responsibility into two words response & ability.

Or, our ability to respond. Sounds like a decision, right?

Yes, we do have choices about how we respond.

It is as Victor Frankel, the psychiatrist and Holocaust survivor said,

Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms—to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.”

Wow.  Right?

Viktor Frankl lived to be 92 years old and contributed work that people still use today.
If someone who survived the worst of what human beings can do to one another, can go on to have a thriving life, there is something in his mindset for us to notice and hopefully learn from.

If we keep making the same decision, and not taking our response/ability in the situation, we can easily blame others and lead us to… Victim-hood.  Not a great neighborhood to spend time in.

It’s almost impossible to make life changes from that mindset.

So how can we be more intentional about this?

Three things to start…

  1. Notice

Notice your language especially when you say things like I can’t… Or so and so did such and such to me…

  1. Forgive

Forgive yourself for not being perfect.

For making the same mistakes/decision again and again.

We are human. Old patterns die hard.

But we can create new patterns, and new ways of being.

The compassion you allow yourself, will give you the space to try again.

  1.  Turn it around

Start was simply saying “I can…”

Then see what is possible for you.

Thank you, Benjamin Franklin and Viktor Frankl for these mind-bending quotes.

Your words resonate to this day!


If you are a lawyer who wants more freedom, autonomy, and clarity about your next career steps, I would love to see if I could help you. Please reach out here.


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