Aaaayy! Make like The Fonz

Make like The Fonz

Do you remember a television show from the 1970s called “Happy Days”? In case you’re too young to remember, or so old that you’ve forgotten, it was about the Cunningham family, who lived in 1950s Milwaukee: Mr & Mrs C, and the kids Richie, Joannie and Chuck (who didn’t last long). The Cunninghams had a lodger who lived above their garage, called Arthur Fonzarelli, also known as The Fonz.

The Fonz was cool and made all the girls swoon. Also, he could never admit he was in the wrong, struggling to get the words out – “I was wr…, I was wr…, I was wr…” – and never quite managing it. Was this because he believed he was always right maybe?

A race on the river in Montreal

What’s this got to do with anything though? At the weekend I was watching the F1 (Formula One) Grand Prix motor race in Montreal (only on TV, unfortunately) when I heard a story about someone else who couldn’t admit they were wrong. And it really made me think.

A team-mate who was never in the wrong

A hot topic of discussion in F1 over the last couple of weeks, ever since the two Red Bull cars collided in Turkey, has concerned team-mates crashing into one another. Former F1 driver David Coulthard was talking about his experiences of colliding with his 1990s team-mate Mika Häkkinen. According to Coulthard, even when it was obviously his fault, Häkkinen wouldn’t admit he had made a mistake and apparently couldn’t think of a time when he had ever been wrong. Was this the reason that Häkkinen went on to be world champion and he hadn’t, Coulthard speculated. Admission of blame, even to yourself, was maybe a weakness in this type of situation.

Do you blame yourself for things that aren’t your fault?

So how often do you feel in the wrong and to blame for things? How often do you blame yourself when something bad happens, even when others are possibly more culpable? Taking responsibility for yourself is obviously an important thing to do and being accountable for your actions is essential, but blaming yourself for things that aren’t really your fault? Not a good idea.

Let it go and don’t beat yourself up so much

There’s no need to go as far as The Fonz or Mika Häkkinen, but don’t beat yourself up over things so much.  Develop your own personal no-blame culture, realise that it’s not all your fault and let the past go. Move the pictures you are making off into the distance and replace them with happier images that make you feel the way you want to feel. Aaaayy!

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