Beth Armstrong

Christian wife, mom, & author. Doing life with my eyes fixed on Jesus. I walk, I stumble, I fall. But God is big. And this is what I write about… Thanks for stopping by!


The gas station attendants are probably wagering bets inside to see which customer will be the one to commit the 1¢ blunder. They probably get a good laugh at our reactions. You’ve done it. I’ve done it. We’ve all committed the 1¢ blunder. You know the drill. Your goal was to put $25 worth of gas in your tank. At $24.80 or so, you lessen your grip on the nozzle. You squeeze it ever so gently as you approach $25. You watch the numbers increase slower and slower on the pump. You suddenly let go of the nozzle altogether right at the $25 mark. But wait…what’s this? Oh no! You didn’t make the $25 cutoff. The pump says $25.01. Aarrgg!

Inside you cringe. You might even blurt out some sort of expletive under your breath. “How could I have gone over? I was being so careful.” Nevertheless, the evidence is left on the pump. You failed. The goal was not met. One of two things happen next: Not settling for the 1¢ blunder, you round your new goal up to $26 (or perhaps $30 for the overzealous types). You reload and try again. Or—dejected, and slightly embarrassed, you disengage the nozzle from your tank, affix it back to the pump, slump back into your car, and drive off.

Thomas Edison once said, “Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time.”

Try just one more time, or give up. Which will it be? Giving up is sometimes the easiest thing to do. But don’t we ultimately want the goal accomplished? Eventually doesn’t the target need to be reached?

The fact is we all slipup from time to time. We fail to reach goals, we miss our target, and we commit 1¢ blunders in the gas pumps of life. And we do it frequently. How do we get back on track? How do we forget our failures and keep moving forward?

Here are 4 ways to help surmount our slipups:

1)   Re-evaluate – Ask yourself, “What’s the goal here? What exactly am I trying to accomplish? What’s my bottom line?”

2)   Re-set the goal – The goal may need tweaking. Not necessarily lowered, but perhaps altered slightly.

3)   Re-aim – Focus and prepare on the new goal. Take your time. Don’t rush. Failure the first time around may have been due to haste.

4)   Re-fire – Pull the trigger. Go for it. Don’t hem and haw, second guess, worry, and wonder. Just do it.

Edison also said, “If I find 10,000 ways something won’t work, I haven’t failed. I am not discouraged, because every wrong attempt discarded is often a step forward….”

Next time you’re at the gas pump, remember the 1¢ blunder. Laugh a little. And if you should happen to blunder, either at the pump or at life in general, go back to step 1 above. Remember our greatest weakness lies in giving up!

Anybody else guilty of the 1¢ blunder? How do you surmount your slipups? What advice would you share?


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