Learn From Your Mistakes
One of the most important lessons you can learn in life, be it career, relationships, working for yourself, money…you can apply it to anything. Of course, nobody wants to make mistakes really, it can be humiliating, damaging, even heartbreaking, but that doesn’t make it unnecessary. Everybody makes them, errors of judgement, accidents, things that you didn’t mean, but you can’t predict the future and you can’t turn back the clock. Whatever your spiritual beliefs, I’m sure you’ll agree with me when I say that mistakes exist not to humiliate us or damage our egos, but to teach us lessons. You could even argue that it is important to make mistakes, you could definitely argue that it is important to learn from your mistakes.
How many entrepreneurs do you know of that have made it first time, with no big errors along the way. I’ll tell you how many have achieved this, zero, or at least very close to zero, put it this way, those that have a smooth ride are the exceptional cases, not those that experience a lot of turbulence. Walt Disney went bankrupt, Peter Jones went bankrupt, George Foreman, Milton Hershey, Perez Hilton… I could go on. Bankruptcy is an extreme case, I’ll admit, but it demonstrates an important point, that when the chips are down, you can’t give up, you will be knocked back, but you need to come back stronger.
I’m sure psychologists would explain a correlation here. After you saw jaws, how long did it take you to get back in the water? It is a natural reaction that once you’ve been burned, you dont want to play with fire again, but sometimes in life you need to take the big risks. (I’m not endorsing playing with real fire by the way, it is just a metaphor, no law-suits please). Life has a funny way of rewarding those who manage to continue through adversity. Again, I’m getting a bit too spiritual with this, but perhaps there are forces beyond our control playing a part.
Whatever you believe, its common knowledge that mistakes are the best way to learn. Spending your life in fear will get you nowhere unfortunately. How many times did you have to fall of your bike as a kid to work out how to ride smoothly? How many near misses did you have with the pavement, too? All mistakes, but they get you to where you need to be in the end. Try be sensible, of course, I’m not for a second suggesting you put your life savings in stocks you know nothing about with the aim of learning from it if it screws up, but the point is, you cant let the occasional grazed knee put you off trying to gain a skill or get to where you want to be.
Anyway, you don’t have to just take my word for it, I’ve collated some quotes from people from all walks of life here, who have at some point uttered famous words regarding mistakes. Enjoy. Stay inspired.
“The most valuable thing you can make is a mistake – you can’t learn anything from being perfect” – Adam Osborne
“Success is walking from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm” – Winston Churchill
“Success is how high you bounce after you hit bottom” – General George Patton
“Experience is simply the name we give our mistakes.” – Oscar Wilde
“Success does not consist in never making mistakes but in never making the same one a second time.” – George Bernard Shaw
“Even the knowledge of my own fallibility cannot keep me from making mistakes. Only when I fall do I get up again.” – Vincent Van Gogh
“Mistakes are the portals of discovery.” – James Joyce