You have made a mistake!! It can be simple one such as spilling a glass of water or making a mistake in a test or goofing up in a office presentation or scolding the kids or…? How do you react? The first thing that happens after one makes a mistake is that one becomes upset. Everyone I know gets upset. Then people react.
Some say “I didn’t do that. ” Or “No, no, no. It wasn’t me. ” Or “I don’t know how that happened. ” Or “Prove it. ” They try to lie!
Some say “It’s your fault, not mine.” Or “You weren’t clear in your instructions.” Or “It’s my boss’s fault. “ Or “The customers just don’t care about my products.” They try to put blame on anyone and everyone but them.
Some say “I would have made it if I had had more time.” Or “Well, I don’t have a good education so that is why I don’t get ahead.” Or “Well, everyone else was doing it.” They try to justify their actions.
Some say “I told you that it would never work.” Or “Why am I doing this? I don’t need this hassle.” Or “This is too hard and it’s not worth it. I’m going to do something else easier. ” They are trying to find a way out or quit.
Some say “Mistake? What mistake?” Or “Don’t worry. Things will work out.” Or
“No, there is nothing wrong. Things are fine. ” They try to deny their mistakes or bury them.
Why do we react when we make a mistake? Let’s go back to our school days. Who was applauded or appreciated – the one who made less mistakes or more mistakes? In school and college, mistakes are perceived as bad and to be avoided. The more mistakes a person makes, the less intelligent that person is thought to be. In school we’re given the lesson first and then tested. But life is not like that.
In life we make the mistakes first and then it’s up to us to find the lesson, if we ever find it. Since most people have not been taught how to make mistakes and learn from them, they either avoid mistakes altogether , which is a bigger mistake, or they make a mistake but fail to find the lesson from the mistake. That is why you see so many people making the same mistake over and over again. They keep saying to themselves, ‘Play it safe. Don’t take risks for we will make mistakes!”
They are avoiding their weaknesses instead of confronting them. They are not doing something they may be afraid of doing, and consciously choosing to avoid making a mistake rather than make one. ” Some of the biggest failures are people who have never failed. Let’s look at some of the people who were called failures at some point or other.
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People who were called failures
Beatles were turned down by a recording company saying “We don’t like their sound and guitar music is on the way out”
Beethoven was told by a music teacher “as a composer he is hopeless”
Walt Disney, the famous cartoonist of Mickey Mouse and others, was fired from a newspaper because he “lacked imagination and had no original ideas”
Book Chicken Soup for the Soul was rejected a total of 140 times. It now has 65 different titles and has sold over 80 million copies all over the world.
Albert Einstein wasn’t able to speak until he was almost 4 years old and his teachers said he would “never amount to much”
Abraham Lincoln failed more times than he was successful. He failed in business at the age of 21 ; was defeated in a legislative race at age 22; failed again in business at age 24; overcame the death of his sweetheart at age 26; had a nervous breakdown at age 27; lost a congressional race at age 34; lost a senatorial race at age 45; failed in an effort to become vice-president at age 47; lost a senatorial race at age 49; and was elected president of the United States at age 52.
Christopher Columbus’s big mistake was that he was looking for a trade route to China and India and accidentally bumped into America.
Thomas Edison failed over 10, 000 times before finally inventing the light bulb. Infact he was told by a teacher he was “too stupid to learn anything”
Infact some of the inventions are result of failure.
Inventions as a result of failure
Champagne : Dom Pierre Pérignon is credited for the invention of champagne, it was not the 17th century Benedictine monk’s intention to make a wine with bubbles in it – in fact, he had spent years trying to prevent just that, as bubbly wine was considered a sure sign of poor wine making. His original wish was to cater for the French court’s preference for white wine. Since black grapes were easier to grow in the Champagne region, he invented a way of pressing white juice from them. But since Champagne’s climate was relatively cold, the wine had to be fermented over two seasons, spending the second year in the bottle. This produced a wine loaded with bubbles of carbon dioxide, which Pérignon tried but failed to eradicate. Happily, the new winewas a big hit with the aristocratic crowds in both the French and English courts.
Post it Notes: In 1970, Spencer Silver, a researcher for 3M, an American corporation, managed to create a very weak glue that could be removed almost effortlessly. He promoted his invention within 3M, but nobody took any notice. 4 years later, Arthur Fry, a 3M colleague and member of his church choir, was irritated by the fact that the slips of paper he placed in his hymnal to mark the pages would usually fall out when the book was opened. One service, he recalled the work of Spencer Silver, and later applied some of Silver’s weak yet non-damaging adhesive to his bookmarks. He found that the little sticky markers worked perfectly, and sold the idea to 3M. Trial marketing began in 1977, and today you’d find it hard to imagine life without them.
Magic in mistakes
There is a bit of magic hidden in every mistake. So the more mistakes you will make and take the time to learn from, the more magic you will have in my life. Without mistakes and failures there is no progress.
Have you seen a small baby learning to walk. They spend a lot of time learning to walk badly before they learn to walk. They fall a lot of times. They cry on falling, make horrific noices, suffer a lot of bumps and sometimes bruises, skinned knees but they never stop trying and end up learning walking. Small children continue their struggle of learning , using crayons, learning numbers, tying shoe laces, dressing themselves. If they don’t make mistakes then they would never get anywhere or learn to do anything
Remember the frustration you went through as you struggled to learn how to ride a bicycle. All your friends are riding but all you are doing is climbing on the bike and immediately falling off. You make mistake after mistake. Then suddenly, you stop falling off , you begin to peddle, the bike begins rolling, and then suddenly like magic, a whole new world opens to you. That is the magic found in mistakes.
When I take money awareness sessions I am often asked the question “what if we make a mistake in investments?” , especially by women. I tell them, “You will make mistakes” which shocks them. Even men are scared of making mistakes. I then tell them that even the legendry investor, Warren Buffet, has made mistakes. As per interview given to CNBC in 2010, Warren Buffet admitted to making his biggest trade mistake of 200 billion dollars that was of buying Berkshire Hathaway, then a fading Massachusetts textile company. The men and women are shocked to know that. Then I add there has been other mistakes too made by Warren Buffet. (Interested one can read Buffet Biggest Mistakes). Infact I myself have made many financial mistakes and that is one of the reasons which prompted me to start my website bemoneyaware.com.
It is not the mistake but the attitude towards making mistakes.Mistakes are how we learn. Every time we make a mistake, it is an opportunity to learn something new, learn something about myself,, and we often meet new people we would never have met. It is said “When you come to the boundaries of what you know, it’s time to make some mistakes.” Mistakes, failures are an integral part of human development. So instead of avoiding mistakes, we need to learn to manage mistakes. If we lie, blame, justify, or deny the mistake, we waste the mistake and will waste a precious gem of wisdom. To be upset or hold a grudge when one commits mistake is like being upset with your bicycle because you fell off once or twice while trying to learn it.
As Winston Churchill said, “Success is the ability to go from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm.” So make mistakes but learn from it What if one says ‘I ‘ll never do that again’ Is that a good philosophy? What is the Worst that can happen “Oops! … I lost in the game”. A Survey found out that biggest regret that people had I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself. Even Shakspear said Better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all.
What do you feel? Are mistakes bad? Have you learnt from your mistakes?