Experts tell us that each day we should spend a few quiet moments in serious thought. It might be a safe bet that many of us think of positive outcomes. While there’s nothing wrong with that, it might also be beneficial to spend time considering past mistakes and what important message we might have learned.
We should think of mistakes as valuable reminders that we are not the Wizard of Oz with all the answers. As such, mistakes certainly provide nuggets of opportunities from which to learn. Mistakes should be viewed as a sign that we're making progress. Why? When mistakes are made, it means we are putting forth effort and trying to bring about a positive outcome.
Most of us likely learned at an early age to treat mistakes as cause for shame, or at the very least, a reason to consider mistakes as failures. However, many countless achievements required someone to work their way through the greatest errors and misunderstandings.
Mistakes should not be feared. The same actions that enable us to make a mistake also put us in a position to correct it. Thomas Edison, arguably the greatest inventor of modern time, was attributed to say, "I have not failed. I have just found 10,000 ways that won't work."
History tells us what happened on his 10,001 attempt to develop the electric light bulb. How's that for persistence that led to a world-changing event?
When willing to accept the possibility of mistakes, we're able to go on the journey that will lead to outstanding opportunities. When we become experienced at handling mistakes, we'll hone our skills at creating real value.
Success comes not from avoiding mistakes, but from learning to find a positive way to move forward, no matter what happens. Accept that mistakes will happen — and some might be whoppers — but don’t let them hold you back.
When we make a mistake, it is acceptable to perform an autopsy and think about what happened — but move quickly to get over it. Understand what happened, learn from it, gain wisdom from it and become even more effective than before. Remember, the person who never makes a mistake loses a significant opportunity to learn something new.
Think about it.