The Importance of Mistakes

As I was growing up I constantly did things that I was told not to do. If a teacher told me to sit down I would make it difficult for the teacher to get what they wanted. I always thought that I knew all the answers to every question and that no one could tell me I was wrong. It gave me a rush to do the opposite of other people and still find success in what Erasing mistakeI was doing. If you have ever heard the saying, there are a million ways to skin a cat, I wanted to figure out what the million and one way was. It was just the kind of kid I was. This type of behavior led to an extreme amount of confrontation because I would be doing something inefficiently, incorrectly, or taking my sweet time. Friends, family members, and teachers would try to show me the best ways to complete tasks but I just did not listen and I loved finding my own way of doing things. Over and over I would do things and fail; people would tell me that the way I was trying was never going to work and to do it another way but I was ignorant. When I  would try to do things in ways people hadn’t done before I would make a TON of mistakes and I always felt like a complete idiot for even trying. What I did not realize at the time is that the mistakes I was making were shaping who I would become.

Mistakes are looked at as this thing that people do when they mess up and as a negative thing overall. This narrative needs to change. One of the most successful ways to grow through life is making mistakes. Now mistakes are only beneficial if you are able to look at what you have done honestly and address whether or not it has helped or hurt the situation at hand. Elon Musk (SpaceX, Tesla) talks about this in one of his interviews and he mentions that if you believe you are the greatest in your field because every test you do is successful then you are being beaten by the man that is trying new things and messing up almost 100% of the time. The reason is that the man who is successful is priding himself in his accomplishment while the man who is failing is risking it all to find a better way while simultaneously learning from all his previous mistakes to create the perfect model.


This all comes from the way that we choose to react to the mistakes we make. If we fail, get discouraged, and then cease what we are working on we will never be able to see the true benefit of messing up. The only way to see the good part of mistakes is observing what you did honestly and without bias. Almost like an outsider looking in at someone else messing up. And when you see the mistakes you have made you can correct them, learn from them, and most importantly grow as an individual from them. Most people don’t enjoy the feeling we get when we make mistakes but we should. We should get that feeling of dang I screwed up and then analyze what we did to correct it. Mistakes have gotten such a bad rap because most of the time we blame other people instead of ourselves. Even if the mistake isn’t our fault there is usually something we could have done better to help the situation. If we start to take all the mistakes that we are apart of making and address them honestly our world would see an extreme change. If everyone had the idea that mistakes were an amazing thing and a great learning tool no one would be worried if you messed up. They would be happy you messed up because as long as you address the reasons why you likely won’t make the same mistake twice.


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