How much of a mistake do you consider a mistake you made to be if you learned something from it? Are you the type who retells yourself the story to reduce the value of the mistake with a silver lining, even if you don’t reduce it quantitatively like making it half a mistake? Or are you the type who stick with a mistake is a mistake? Or perhaps you go the other way to consider no mistake to be one if you learned something from it like I once did? I changed from that view because I found I was letting myself off the hook too easily for my liking regarding accountability.
My current view on mistakes and learning from them is no mistake is fully one if you learned something good from it. In it, I acknowledge I made the mistake, with potential for redemption in the form of learning from the mistake. It holds me accountable, with partial consolation, at most, conditional on me learning something good from my mistake. Neither too hard nor soft on myself.
For me, that chance at redemption includes clearly identifying what I had learned from my mistake, and what I will do to either prevent it from happening again in the future, or mitigate its impact for when my imperfect self cannot prevent it from happening again. Whatever the outcomes from those exercises, I do not let them influence how much or little I deem my mistake to have been. That is, I don’t assess whether my mistake might have been a quarter mistake or half mistake depending on what I had learned from it, in reducing it from a full mistake. It’s just not a full mistake if I had learned something from it, and I leave it at that, with faith it were true.
This post is one of 70 quotes I wrote, each with an accompanying essay, in my e-book and paperback Stars I Put in my Sky to Live By, on Amazon or Smashwords (choose your price including free!).