Have you ever regretted a mistake you made, and thought to yourself:
I’ve been there… and maybe you have too. Perhaps, you’ve just got a bad grade on your Biology test. Or maybe you just confronted the person you love, who turns out to not feel the same way…
You might start to hate Biology, or hate the person you confronted.
But, have you and I ever tried to thank our mistakes instead?
My G2 Driving Test:
On my first driving lesson, I was terrified. When my instructor got up to switch seats with me,
I objected: “But, I can’t drive!”
The instructor laughed and said: “Yes, that’s the point!”
It took me more than 10 driving classes to gain some confidence in my driving. When the instructor scheduled me for my driving test, I was excited, but I didn’t feel ready. I made two major mistakes in the test. And yea, I didn’t pass. However, those situations in which I made the two major mistakes never occurred in my driving lessons, so I didn’t know how to act in the test. I was actually thankful that I didn’t pass, because if I had passed and got the license, God knows I could’ve freaked out when I was alone in the car, and could’ve possibly injured someone.
I took more driving lessons and perfected my driving. The extra practice time got me familiar with more driving situations that I hadn’t learned before. I never repeated the mistakes I made in the first driving test. So, when I took the test for the second time, I didn’t make any mistakes.
Oh, and I passed!
So, the benefits of the mistakes I made in the driving test outweighed the losses!
Your mistakes might also outweigh the losses:
If you misspelled that biological term, you are less likely to repeat the same mistake for your remaining years of school.
If you confronted the person you loved, you save yourself the time and energy you spend to think about them.
Is your mind still occupied with some mistakes you’ve done in the past and you can’t shake them off?
Good. It’s okay to let mistakes occupy your mind. However, what’s harmful is to let them control you and bring you back.
You build on failure. You use it as a stepping stone. Close the door on the past. You don’t try to forget the mistakes, but you don’t dwell on it. You don’t let it have any of your energy, or any of your time, or any of your space.” ~ Johnny Cash
If those mistakes occupy your mind, take your time and analyse them. But, remember: one key to turn your mistakes into positive learning experiences is to use your mind to analyse the event, and NOT your emotions. If you use your emotions to analyse why you made that mistake in the biology test, you might conclude that you’re just stupid, which is probably not the case.
Let’s use the biology test example to see how we could learn from it. Ask yourself:
Why did I make that mistake?
Rational explanation: I didn’t give myself enough time to study all the terms and crammed last night.
How do I not repeat that mistake again?
Rational solution: Next time, I should plan ahead and make sure to get enough sleep.
We just used our rationale to analyse our mistake. Using our emotions might hurt our future. We might tie the unpleasant experience of making the mistake to hating biology, and therefore, ruin all the dreams to get into medical school.
Your mistakes could turn into something great:
Check out this short clip from the movie Holes, and see how a mistake turned into a prospering innovation!
Click on the image to view the clip
Couldn’t a mistake turn into something great with you too?
Mistakes are learning experiences that shouldn’t be ignored. They help us grow and increase our knowledge about our own selves and our surroundings.
“If you’re not making mistakes, then you’re not doing anything. I’m positive that a doer makes mistakes.” ~ John Wooden
The greatest accomplishments we earn in life are because of mistakes we make;
So embrace them.