Cherishing mistakes

September 19, 2019
 by Paul McGowan

We work so hard at perfecting our lives that we often wince at the inevitable mistakes.

Yet, we know that mistakes are how we learn and grow. Some of my very best work came as a result of making a misstep: the wrong turn that led to new found territory.

Cherishing mistakes, honoring them as learning tools rather than shameful acts, is one of the reasons I love to jump feet first into a project. While others spend their days preparing I am off to the races, eager to face the challenges and mistakes sure to come.

When viewed from the outside my method of discovery appears more chaos than planned. That’s not an inaccurate view. It is the chaos that fuels innovation.

For many, mistakes are more acceptable if they happen within a plan. This feels right because we’ve predicted where something should go. When it doesn’t, and we make course corrections to compensate. We feel vindicated. After all, it was part of the plan.

I would argue that either course works. Both are likely to have the same number of mistakes. The challenge is to be open to those mistakes in order to learn.

Perception is in the eye of the viewer.

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