Seeking advice from the right person is important. I heard a story about a newly appointed public servant who was setting himself up in his new office. As he sat at his desk for the first time, he discovered that his predecessor had left him three envelopes along with instructions that they should be opened only in times of distress.

Before long, the man was in trouble with the press, so he decided to open the first envelope. The note said, “Blame your predecessor.” So that’s what he did.

For a while things went smoothly. But a few months later, he was in trouble again, so he opened the second envelope. The note said, “Reorganize.” So that’s what he did.

That bought him more time. But because he had never really resolved any of the issues that were causing him problems, he ended up in trouble again, and this time it was even greater than before. In desperation, he opened the last envelope.

The note inside read, “Prepare three envelopes.” Seek advice, but make sure it’s from someone who has successfully handled his failures.  — Maxwell, John C. (2000). Failing Forward: Turning Mistakes into Stepping Stones for Success (p. 145). Thomas Nelson. Kindle Edition.