Black mark

You might have heard this example used in analogies before:

Imagine a white sheet with one black mark. What do you see? A white sheet or a black mark? Of course, a black mark

Now, stretching it a little bit, something for you to think about:

Think about your blog as a white sheet of paper and you have one bad post. What do people see?

Think about all your conversations as a white sheet of paper. You have one bad conversation. What do people remember?

Think about all the emails that you send to someone as a white sheet of paper. You send one bad email. What do people notice?

Think about all the speeches that you give as a white sheet of paper. You don’t prepare well for one of them and goof up. What will people remember?

Black marks gain importance defying statistics. You can’t say 99.5% of your emails are good. It’s just the 0.5% of those that have a problem – so it should be OK. Unfortunately it’s not OK. The 99.5% of those emails were taken for granted. There is nothing to notice there. Hence the other 0.5% get the attention.

You can ignore the black marks you leave behind but you can’t escape the consequences.