Sometimes we learn the right way by going the wrong way
If there is one thing I have learned in my life thus far, it’s that I’m always going to have a lot to learn. That part of my life will never be finished. I will never graduate to the level of knowing it all, and I’m grateful for that because it would probably be pretty boring. Another thing that I have learned is that as long as I’m learning and growing, I’m going to make mistakes, and that’s okay. In fact, if I’m not making any mistakes then I’m probably not doing much; which is arguably in itself a big mistake.
It’s really ironic that a large part of human suffering stems from the inabilty or sometimes even complete refusal to forgive ourselves for our mistakes. One would think that eventually the world would catch on to the fact that mistakes are a natural part of life and paired with the willingness to correct and learn from them, a person is well equipped to lead a successful life. The late Samuel Smiles wrote, “We learn wisdom from failure more than from success: we often discover what will do, by finding out what will not do; and he who never made a mistake, never made a discovery.”
I’ll be completely honest with you, I don’t especially like making mistakes. But, I can see the benefits of learning from them so I have made peace with the fact that I’m going to mess up sometimes. I’m also not a big fan of physical exercise, but I accept that it is a big part of living a healthy lifestyle, so I exercise. The same concept applies to mistakes. If I expect to succeed, I must accept that failure is a big part of success.
This is life, I am going to make some bad choices and mistakes are going to happen. I don’t have to make excuses when I make a bad choice. I have made a multitude of mistakes over the years and I will, no doubt, continue to make them in the years to come. The beauty in this is that I get to learn so much from doing the wrong thing that the right thing becomes much clearer to me.
My mistakes teach me how to be a better person if I am open and willing to learn from them. This can only happen when I am strong and courageous enough to admit to and correct my mistakes. According to Paulo Coelho, “When you repeat a mistake, it is not a mistake anymore: it’s a decision.”
Live your life, take risks, go against the grain, be afraid of making mistakes if you want, but don’t let the fear hinder you from trying. Walk through the fear and know that if you do make a mistake then you will have learned a valuable lesson and grown as an individual. As long as you attempt to do your best and right your wrongs when you fall short, I assure you, success will come.