If you are anything like most people, it is very likely that you have made mistakes in your life. And that is perfectly fine because there is nobody who is perfect. I think if you aren’t making mistakes you are probably living a very boring life because you aren’t stretching yourself in any way. But it is how you deal with mistakes that you make, that will have a huge bearing on the quality of your life.
How do you handle your mistakes?
When I was little, the best way to cope with a mistake was to simply deny or ignore it and move on. No Mum, that wasn’t me who left the door open and let Woofy run away. Or at school, adding up four and three to get nine – that mistake would earn me a huge red X on my paper, but there would be no lasting effects. As a teenager, driving the wrong way up a one way street. Entering incorrect numbers on the bank transfer at work. Changing the channel to ten instead of nine at home. Dialling the wrong phone number. Buying the wrong property or the wrong share. Adding in the wrong amount of ingredients in that gourmet recipe.
Sometimes it is difficult first to recognize your mistake and secondly to accept it for what it is. Mistakes can be big or they can be small. But they are just mistakes. Never forget your mistakes, but don’t dwell on them. Once they are done you can’t give them any more of your energy.
I believe that no mistake is permanent. In most cases it is possible to rectify the error. The key is to own the mistake. Yes, mum, I did leave the latch off the door so Woofy could get out – how about we go find him? Ok Miss, yes four and five is nine, I’ll remember that. No Officer, I did not see that one way sign, but thankfully no harm done, I’ll make sure I go round the other way next time, ok thanks for the ticket (not!). Yes, I did send $47,500 to the wrong bank account, good thing we can trace it and have the funds returned. Touch screens and tiny digits mean I can easily mistake a number – but hey, perhaps the stranger at the other end of the phone could be the love of my life? Damn it, finger slippage on the remote, or maybe I made the mistake because I need some glasses? Ok, so I bought a rubbish property, I can always sell it and start over. And I can grimace and eat the messed up food, or perhaps take the family out to dinner instead?
If you have the courage to admit your mistakes, then a mistake can always be forgiven. Learning from your mistakes will without doubt make you a better person and lead you to a better life.
I think we need to make mistakes – they are a part of the dues we must pay for a fabulous life. A mistake is a wonderful opportunity to learn and grow. Yet a mistake made twice becomes a habit. So I would encourage you to get out there, go crazy, get a little edgy and make mistakes. But be sure and learn, so you won’t repeat the error.
The next time you make a mistake, and be very sure that if you are alive then you will – recognize, own up, accept, forgive, learn, and the move on.
That is being human. That is living.