Whenever we hear the word, “mistake”, the usual reaction is that of horror, disgust, fear or repulsion. The word elicits a negative feeling. In rare cases, it might evoke a feeling of sympathy. But, we never think of mistakes with a positive feeling. However, if we change our attitude and start looking at mistakes as opportunities which were missed or screwed up, then we will realize the true potentials of mistakes. Mistakes are goldmines of unexplored opportunities that we are yet to make the best of. Our response, and not reactions, to our mistakes always gives us returns beyond our expectations.
A Corporate Story
In an investment company, one of the senior executive made a wrong decision and the company lost millions of dollar. The executive went to the President of the company with his resignation and said, “I made a great mistake and the company incurred heavy losses. You will of course ask me to give my resignation.”
Much to the amazement of all, the President said, “Of course, not. We just spent a few millions in training you. I cannot let you go and join my competitors who will benefit from your experience!”
This is the kind of positive attitude that makes great companies. There is no reason why such lessons cannot be used in personal lives.
There is Always Some Learning From Mistakes
We cannot learn anything from our mistakes if we are afraid of making them. This fear prevents us from making another attempt with our recently acquired knowledge. This is the biggest fallout if we consider mistake as something bad. Mistakes are just efforts that did not yield the expected results. That is how we should consider them and make renewed efforts while being better prepared.
Another aspect is, we know that our efforts were sincere. What bothers us more is what people will think of us. Being a butt of ridicule may not be everyone’s cup of tea. This is what every successful person from Edison to Steve Jobs had to overcome. They all made mistakes but that did not stop them. Successful personalities have faith in their abilities, conviction in their actions and are confident of their success. These are the ingredients that help them learn from their mistakes and get going again.
Love What You Are Doing
One common factor among all the great success stories is the devotion to the ultimate goal. They loved what they were doing, so the hindrance on their path did not matter to them. That is what mistakes are, temporary hindrances that prevent us from reaching our goals. But if you love what you are doing, you will overcome these odds soon enough.
A person who lacks confidence in himself will give more emphasis to other’s opinion. It is not the loss caused by the mistake that bothers him, but the opinion people will have of his abilities. The fact is, such undue importance to others is futile. No one in this world has time and inclination to pursue your life or take care of your world. You alone are responsible for yourself. This is the reality whether you like it or not. So giving more importance at the cost of your own journey towards success is accepting defeat. This thought, more than the mistake that took place, is what will limit your growth and success.
In the marathon of life, mistakes are the obstacles that make you stronger, develop your capabilities and in a sense make you worthy and capable of reaching your goal. In fact, in retrospect, you will feel that but for the mistakes, you would not have been so strong, resilient and wise to reach your goals of success.
Written By: Raj Kumar Hansdah