Made a mistake? It could be good for you

All humans make mistakes. Have you made a lot of mistakes recently? If so, good for you! I don’t mean it in a sarcastic manner. It is effortless to push the blame to someone else, but it takes real courage to admit to a mistake.

There are two types of people in this world: The first type is those who have made mistakes yet do not admit to their mistakes, and the other is those who have made mistakes and realized them. If you have admitted to your mistakes, you are on the path to a successful and positive life. Admitting to others—or to yourself—that you have made a mistake is definitely not an enjoyable affair. After all, we live to avoid mistakes.

I have made many mistakes and I am proud to admit these mistakes. To me, it is not about admitting the mistakes, but about what I can learn from these mistakes. Do you remember doing “corrections” with a green pen when you were in secondary school? Are they done merely for fun, or is there a reason for this? A teacher once mentioned this to me: “I don’t mind if my students made mistakes. I mind if they don’t learn from the mistakes.” I agree wholeheartedly. As someone who is obsessed with lifelong learning, if I can learn something new with a mistake, the mistake is worth making.

When I was young, I hated my life. I believed that life is unfair, and like many teenagers, “FML” is the acronym I often used. When something went wrong, I would find someone to blame. Soon,  I realized that this mindset was not going to bring me far. In fact, it would bring me down. I recognized that as a mistake; and I started to blame myself instead. Now, if something goes wrong, I will ponder and wonder, How can I avoid this mistake next time?

Is making mistakes good? Personally, my tentative answer is a yes and a no. Yes, because you learn from a mistake. No, because every mistake is somehow going to hinder the progress of your task. But the real answer is this: it depends on how you handle your mistakes. If you do not learn from the mistakes, or follow up on the mistakes with “green pen”, than making mistakes is not good for you!

It is not what you have done in the past that makes you; it is what you have learned in the past that makes you. If your life is full of mistakes, you can either allow the mistakes to overshadow your life, or you overshadow the mistakes. Fortunately, and unfortunately, we have a choice. What choice have you made?