Why mistakes are awesome

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Picture from flickr.com

Before you start throwing rocks at me, let me explain. It can be annoying when you make a stupid mistake in your calculus class and therefore are 1% away from an A, but it’s not a big deal in the great scheme of things. Sure, we can get upset, but that’s how we learn to improve. Mistakes are awesome like that. 

Let’s start from the beginning. Like some of you reading this, I tried to be ‘perfect’ so many different times in my life, but it never really worked out. Being ‘perfect’ is simply impossible. Sorry to burst your bubble, perfectionists. Time to face the reality and accept the truth. It’s ok to strive towards perfection, but as it shouldn’t be something causing us sleepless nights and frustration. Sure, you could argue it’s similar with mistakes you make, but the key difference here is that mistakes had already happened and you cannot change them, whereas the ‘perfect future’ always mocks those trying to achieve it.

Life is all about making mistakes, for as Bambi once said “Falling is how we learn to walk.” Would you be able to improve your grammar without your teacher pointing out the errors? Would you be able to learn a new language without constantly fighting with the conjugations and the spelling? It seems to me that many of the people I know are ashamed of their mistakes, especially the academical ones.

But there isn’t anything to be ashamed of, at all! Just because you misspelled the word “extraordinary”, or didn’t get the right answer at the end of the chain rule in calculus, doesn’t mean you’re stupid in any way. We are all human, and we all make some mistakes. No one (sane) is going to judge you because of it. It would  be pretty ridiculous if 10 years after you graduated university someone laughed at your maths exam you failed in 5th grade – you definitely improved ever since; your degree is one of the best proofs of it.

It’s funny how people believe being the ‘perfect mother’ or a ‘perfect student’ is the correct way of living. Can you imagine how boring a ‘perfect life’ would be? Living in a perfect house with the perfect partner, talking how perfect the mojito you’re drinking is… I’d rather get stuck in a 10-hour lecture about the importance of roof tiles every day. I would at least have 14 hours to live my far-from-ideal-but-still-amazing life!

People often say: “No one sees your future, everyone just sees your past!” I cannot really argue with that, since it is very true. We judge people for what they’ve done up until this point, and how it compares to our achievements. But what about the present? It’s there, and everyone seems to be ignoring it in that phrase.

Just because yesterday you thought dinosaurs never existed does not mean you’re not a smarter person today. I mean I would probably doubt the type of education you’ve recieved a bit, but I would focus more on the fact that you tried to fix your mistake, or at least learn from it. Wandering around clueless about your surroundings is not the way to go, and it should never be.

And no, I am not to bash or make fun of people who believe their lives are perfect – everything is a matter of opinion (just like this blog). They definitely have some ups and downs, and that’s probably what makes their lives exciting. I think there is not a single person, rich or poor, who would like to live the ‘perfect’ life for more than a year. Monotone, planned, without much excitement – who the hell would really endure that for a prolongued period of time?!

Sure, you might say: “Oh, but I would travel and share my experiences with others!” So let me stop you right there, before you continue (I’m sorry, but hey, my blog my rules). If you had the perfect life, and lived in the perfect world, the same thing would apply to everyone else around you.

Think about your past journey, and stories you tell. Do you really focus on that “gorgeous crystal-clear seawater” for more than five minutes? Or do you show some cool landshots and then go ahead and talk about their backstories? You know, the time your car broke in the middle of nowhere. Or the time where you got seasick and had to find the quickest way out of the on-board restaurant.

What makes our lives exciting are the experiences we gain from our mistakes. If you are always perfect, you have no room for improvement, and stay in one place forever. There hasn’t been a single master who didn’t start off as a newbie.

“The master has failed more times than the begginer has ever tried.”
Obstacle Course
 

 

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27 thoughts on “Why mistakes are awesome

  1. You are so right. Mistakes are a very important part of living. And when people can accept the fact that they are “ordinary” instead of striving to be especially special their life is likely to become so more relaxed and rewarding.

    Like

  2. Nice post. I’m reminded of the zen teacher explaining what he knew to a learned man who wanted to recieve some training. As he talked, the learned man kept saying “yes we have that…” Eventually the zen teacher quietened and poured a cup of tea for his visitor. As the cup filled, he continued pouring…

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Love your ‘crystal clear clarity’ of thoughts and the writing too. My Dad always encouraged me as a kid and even does now saying, “There’s always a next time.” Then as a kid I didn’t believe in it but now I do. Failure and mistakes are so important for us to grow. Also, let’s not measure our lives only by parameters of success. This is an inspiring post. Thanks for sharing.

    Keep writing. πŸ™‚

    Regards,
    Sharayu.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Okay, I found you because of First Friday, and I am SO GLAD!! I am 4 stories in, and I love everything I have read. I am 38, and reading what you write takes me back to being your age, you remind me a lot of myself. I love that you address the constant need for perfection, and how ridiculous that is. That is (usually) the tone of my blog and what I write. This post is spot on, about embracing the mistakes and imperfections of life. For you to have this wisdom now, you are so ahead of the game! I hope you keep writing, I love it.
    One more thing, I have to know, are you a virgo? I am and just wondered πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Found your blog on First Friday. You remind me of myself many years ago.
    “Falling is how we learn to walk”. Mistakes are part of life and that is how we learn.
    Looking forward to reading more of your blogs.
    Keep writing

    Liked by 1 person

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