Thankful for My Mistakes

No one ever says “SCORE!” and rejoices when they fail. We’d prefer not to broadcast our mistakes and failures. It’s like walking in public, tripping, and then trying to play it off hoping no one saw. In other words, we’d like to brush off the bad times and forget they ever existed.

Today, I was thinking about some mistakes I’ve made – pretty bad ones – and although I can say “I regret that” I won’t. In some odd kind of way, I’m thankful for my mistakes.

Why?

Unique Wisdom:

  • Believe it or not, we can often learn more from what we did wrong than what we’ve done well. As my father always says, “If you didn’t learn what to do, than hopefully you learned what not to do.” Mistakes make us wiser, better, and more experienced in ways doing well cannot.

Helping Others:

  • Making mistakes has allowed me to impart knowledge to others. I can guide them away from doing what I’ve done in hope that they’ll have better success than I did. My failures have also helped me relate to people. When I meet someone who’s battling a struggle I’ve gone through, or trying to decide which decision to make, I can encourage them that bad times are indeed temporary.

Appreciating Success:

  • How could we ever rejoice and appreciate success if we didn’t have anything to contrast it against? If you succeeded every time, success wouldn’t have much value to you.

All Mistakes Aren’t Awful:

  • One year, my family and I were traveling and we made a really bad turn. We ended up adding more than two hours extra to our already 5+ hour-long drive. It was frustrating. Then, when we got home, we found out there was a terrible storm in the area we were supposed to pass through had we not made a bad turn. The storm was so terrible, many people got into car accidents. After hearing that news we were actually thankful for our mistake. It saved us trouble.

Of course, in the long run, if I had the option to make a mistake or to do a task correctly the first time, I’d go for being correct. However, I’ve learned there is beauty in everything. And yes, that even means in failure.

What has making mistakes taught you?

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8 thoughts on “Thankful for My Mistakes

  1. Pingback: Daily Leadership Thought #127 – Embrace and Learn From Your Mistakes « Ed Robinson's Blog

  2. How can we possibly know the “right” way to do everything? It puts crazy pressure on us to think we are so infallible. (And it does seem a little arrogant, if we think we are all omniscient.)

  3. Pingback: Daily Leadership Thought #127 – Embrace and Learn From Your Mistakes - Capacity Building Solutions

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