I know we believe that mistakes are the worst, we beat ourselves so hard when we make one, and thereafter we fall into regrets and retarded growth. However, mistakes are not that bad, at least at some point. They are there to teach us, upgrade us and make us better versions of ourselves.
I have made many mistakes in my life. I have done things that I am not proud of. I have done things that I do not even have the guts to tell another person of. Nevertheless, I do not regret my actions, I never do. I do feel sober sometimes, I am human; but I believe that every right decision and every mistake I have made in the past, combined, have led me to this point in my life. They are what have helped shape me into the man I have become today. My experiences in the past, pleasant or not have been accumulated to make me the man I have become today: wise, precise, articulate, God-fearing and humble. Regrets causes dissatisfaction, unhappiness, and discontent and it keeps us looking behind us, wishing that something else had happened rather than what already has. This feeling is normal; after all, we are all humans; but what good does this do? Regret, remorse and sobriety does not mean we are ready to change or get up and work, it is emotional and mere emotions do not really make any difference.
However, I do not wish that my mistakes and bad decisions of the past are repeated, I do not wish to experience them again (being there, done that), and I do not wish that any other person, especially those looking up to me, tow this path; in reality, we have all got our different and very unique processes. It is not a bad idea to shadow people we admire, it is not a bad idea to want to experience some of the things they did, but the truth is that we are not molded the same, we are not constructed the same. One could go through the fire and come out refined as gold, another without a scratch, another goes in and comes out with burns that heals in no time and another goes in and does not come out alive. We should embrace who we are and if we are not okay with who we are, then we should work and strive to becoming better versions of who we presently are, and not to become someone else. Every other person is taken except you and every other role is taken except yours, why not make the best of it!
We cannot go through life without making mistakes here and there; in fact, if we look behind, we would see a large indefinite amount of bad decisions and mistakes we have made, but these mistakes would only make sense if they made us stronger and wiser rather than failures and fools. Thomas J. Watson Sr. (1874 – 1956), an American businessman and a onetime Chairman and CEO of International Business Machines (IBM) once said, “Recently, I was asked if I was going to fire an employee who made a mistake that cost the company $600,000. No, I replied, I just spent $600,000 training him. Why would I want somebody to hire his experience?”
Some mistakes we try to undo, some we manage, some we do undo and others we live with; because every of your actions have consequences – and this is a proven fact. Nevertheless, what we become after a mistake is very important.
Not everything that happens to us was meant to be, we should not go on attributing all of our bad ideas, decisions and outcomes to fate. A farmer who plants in the season of planting is expected to have a fruitful and bountiful harvest on the day of harvest, other things being equal. He is however expected to weed his farm once in a while, water it, manure and fertilise the soil as well as perform other post planting activities; but if he fails to do these, he would end up with no, or a poor, yield. This does not mean he was destined to have a poor yield, he ended up here because of his mistakes, wrong choices, and his own undoing and the violation of laid down principles. Our success is tied to a sequence of right choice; but if this chain is broken, the best we can do is to go back to making deliberate right choices rather than beating ourselves up in regrets and trying to mend a mistake with another mistake.
What has happened has happened and we cannot change that fact, but we can work on what has not happened, irrespective of a previous error.
You would get to a stage in life where making mistakes would become an expensive luxury you cannot afford; spending on one could cost you more than time or money can buy back. A stupid fellow is one who goes ahead making a sequence of mistakes and bad decisions and hopes that somehow, sometime in the future, everything would be fine. It is true that mistakes help shape a man – a man who wakes up from his mistakes and embraces the thorns of wisdom. Most times, we want to dive into a deep pool when we know fully well that we cannot swim.
Nevertheless, there is this funny way life teaches us some profound lessons, lessons she knows a stroll in the park would not be enough to open our minds up to. Sometimes, it takes a big fall for us to realize that we can fly. We need a push but we do not want to be pushed, so life pushes us, sometimes to the limit. However, if we go through life with our antennas erect, well positioned and in tune, we would be glad that we were pushed. We get a handful experience, in-depth wisdom, direction, knowledge, understanding and other by-lessons from a simple push, and by push, I mean fall and by fall, I mean ERRORS in other words, MISTAKES!
If we are all given a chance to see the outcomes of our decisions or to see clearly the future from the present, we probably would never make mistakes; but what is life without Mistakes?
(Extracted from my book, LESSONS CANNOT BE BOUGHT, coming soon!)