“Each life is made up of mistakes and learning; waiting and growing, practicing patience and being persistent”.
We all, at some point in our journey, may have miscalculated, taken a wrong step, engaged in an unprofitable investment, wrong career path etc. The word “mistake” definitely resonates with us as we have either made a mistake in the past; making mistakes presently or might make a mistake sometime in the future.
Mistakes stem from choices which birth our decisions. Every day, we are faced with making choices; for example, what to wear, when to set out, meetings to attend, business deals to close, friends to associate with etc. Daily, we are bombarded with choices; some may have huge consequences while some will have little consequences. What contributes to our success or failure is not always lined up before us; hence we might not be able to perceive at a distance if there is a tendency to make mistakes. However, if we are connected to God, we can be guided and take well-calculated steps and reduce actions that might lead to mistakes significantly.
As it’s often said, life is a teacher embellished with lessons and the only way to understand the lesson is to live life itself. Mistakes usually invoke necessary changes in us; they enable us view things differently, they shape us and help us become better people who will strive to do things in a better way. In addition, making a mistake serves as a learning curve where we gain a better understanding and learn new ways of doing things better if we don’t get it right the first time. It helps us to become better, wiser and improved versions of ourselves after going through tough circumstances. A typical example is Thomas Edison who made 1,000 unsuccessful attempts at inventing the light bulb. When a reporter asked him how it felt to make mistakes and fail 1,000 times? Edison replied, “I didn’t fail 1,000 times. The light bulb was an invention with 1,000 steps”.
As humans, what makes a difference is what we learnt from the mistakes and not why we made them. Some mistakes can place us in tough situations full of regret and we can’t seem to gather momentum to move on. During times like this, we need to take responsibility for our actions by admitting we made a mistake; this gives birth to a time of sober reflection where we don’t dwell on the mistake but retrace our steps and move on. When this happens, the pain from the mistake fuels our courage and gives us hope. Just as mistakes in a work of art poses another design, our mistakes can be a blessing in disguise to elevate us to where we ought to be. Moreover, a mistake might be a turning point and an enabler for a protégé or those looking up to you. They learn from your shortcomings and avoid what you went through. Our mistakes can be a blessing to others.
Above all, commit your ways to the One who knows the end from the beginning. Take chances that are well calculated and worthwhile. The road to success is not 100% hitch-free so it is okay to make few mistakes in the process; that’s how you grow, learn and inspire others to be better. Don’t let your mistakes define you, learn from them; take away the message from the mess so that you don’t keep going round in circles using the wrong approach.
Finally, share your mistakes – it might just save a life, or be a confirmation to someone else’s prayer for guidance.
Written by Bolutife Ore-Dawodu