"A person who never made a mistake never tried anything new." - Albert Einstein, Jewish Scientist and Inventor
Mistakes. They're often something we dread, something we wish we never did. We constantly try to shun them away from the world.
They're these huge boulders we feel like we have to carry on our shoulders in shame, but I'm here to tell you that not only do you not have to, but you shouldn't.
It seems like the way humanity has seen mistakes throughout our history is that of a taboo. We see mistakes as a bad thing; as something shameful.
But in reality, it's wrong.
It's wrong to look at mistakes as something shameful, due to the indisputable fact that mistakes can make us better.
Mistakes are the stepping stones to the journey of self-realization.
Without these priceless errors in our lives, we won't accomplish what we were destined to achieve.
Take for example, the inventor of the lightbulb, Thomas Edison. Before he invented the lightbulb, he messed up 10,000 times. He is quoted to have said, "I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work."
Think about it for a second. If Thomas Edison didn't have the correct approach to mistakes that we're discussing, we would've never had the lightbulb.
Another example is Abraham Lincoln. Did you know that in his youth he was a captain in the US Navy, but got demoted to private (the lowest navy rank)? What about him getting bankrupt twice, not to mention losing political campaigns for public office 26 times. But we don't see him as a failure. We see him as one of the greatest Presidents in US history, mostly due to the fact that he made plenty of mistakes and was able to learn from them properly.
Finally, for the people with more of a sports background like myself, take Michael Jordan as an example. He was cut from his high school basketball team his sophomore year. If he gave up and let his mistakes on the court get to his head, we would've never heard of the name "Michael Jordan". Being one of the greatest athletes of all time, he is quoted to have said, "I have missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I have lost almost 300 games. On 26 occasions I have been entrusted to take the game-winning shot, and I missed. I have failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed."
It doesn't matter who you are or where you came from. It doesn't even matter if you're famous or not.
We often place celebrities, famous inventors, politicians, and other great people in history on a pedestal and think to ourselves, "They're God-like. They can't possibly do anything wrong. They were born perfect."
I'm here to tell you that they are not God-like, nor are they perfect. They're just like you and I. They make mistakes on a daily basis.
But what they do that separates them from the masses, is that they take mistakes for what they truly are: a chance to improve themselves.
Therefore, there are three things that I want to share with you that I try to do when I make a mistake or fail at something, and they work pretty well.
1. Acknowledge you're at fault.
Sometimes, you just have to swallow your ego and accept your shortcomings. We all have them. Consciously accepting your humanity, along with its mistakes that come along with it is the best thing you can do after you realize you made a mistake. This will allow yourself to have the mental capacity to fix it.
You will train your mind to accept the indisputable fact that you and I are merely a work in progress.
2. Fix it
Right after you have acknowledged your mistake, fix it. Reverse it. Tackle it. There is always a way to fix a mistake and give yourself another chance. If something isn't working out, try a different route. Brainstorm other ways to achieve your goals. The sun will still shine tomorrow.
3. Be grateful for the mistake, then be on your way as if it never happened.
Once you have overcome this mistake, whatever size it may be, be grateful for having made the mistake. Without it, you would've never seen your faults at hand, thus diminishing your progress to self-growth and becoming the greatest individual you can be.
Brandon Nguyen, one of my tennis coaches and a great friend of mine would always tell me after a match I'd win, "Ok, you won the match. Cool. Good job. But know that you can't get better each time you win. You get better when you learn from your losses."
That being said, we must use our mistakes as stepping stones to our overall success; our dreams.