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Success in Failure

Updated on July 25, 2016
Erasers were invented for a reason.
Erasers were invented for a reason. | Source

The Perfect Source of Learning

Everybody makes mistakes. They are a natural part of life. Making mistakes not only allows people to find the error in their strategy, but mistakes also allow them to move forward. People in society to not make any mistakes, to try to be perfect, but soon they face the sad reality;no one is infallible. Some people accept this, and choose to be the best they can be; however, some people don't, and end up giving up whenever they fail. Regardless of the option individuals choose, mistakes have an exceedingly important role in the life of the individual. This, I believe.

You may be thinking at the beginning, what is a mistake? What categorizes as a failure? The dictionary definition of mistake is, "An action or judgment that is misguided or wrong."; however, I think (NOT believe) that a mistake is something which you does not meet the expectation you wish for it to meet. A mistake, to one person, could be thought of as perfection to another person. Individuals have different expectations. For example, two students are drawing in the art room. One of them accidentally spills their paint on their own picture, and is about to throw it out. The other student notices this, and thinking of the accidental spill as a chance to create something beautiful, the other student asks to use the painting as their own, to which the first student happily gives it to the other student. In this very detailed example, the first student made what they thought of as a mistake, while the other student saw the mistake as a chance to create something beautiful.

Failure is good. It's fertilizer. Everything I've learned about coaching, I've learned from making mistakes.
-Rick Pitino

Mistakes allow us to move forward. When we make a mistake, we usually make a mental note to avoid doing the same thing again, so that we don't have to deal with the same issues that we had already dealt with. "Failure is good. It's fertilizer.", simply compares humans to plants, with mistakes (failures) being the fertilizer for humans. Fertilizer is meant to help the plant grow, to help it prosper. In the same way, failure is meant to help an individual prosper. By making a mistake, and allowing yourself to learn from it, you achieve success.

There are people in the world who try to be perfect, who try to go through their lives without doing a single thing wrong. I'm not going to say that people shouldn't try to be perfect; they should try, and be the very best they can be. It just shouldn't be taken to the extreme where, although you still try your hardest, there is a huge feeling of disappointment when something does not go the way that you want it to go. As a result of that feeling of disappointment, people who aspire to be completely perfect would learn nothing of the mistake they made, learning nothing from the experience of the mistake. In stark contrast, people who try to be the best they can be, while accepting their failures, are people who have true success. Those people, while still trying to be the best they can be, accept their fallibility. It is this acceptance which allows them to mature further in life, to learn from their mistakes.

I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work.

-Thomas Edison

Thomas Edison is a man for whom I have a great deal of respect. He is known for his inventions of the phonograph, the motion picture camera (otherwise known as the recording camera), as well as his most notable invention, a long-lasting light-bulb. These inventions weren't made on his first try. They were made after constant failures, after Thomas Edison continually persevered, after he continually got up after he fell down. Thomas Edison's first blueprint for the light-bulb would be different from his last experience, because Thomas Edison learned from his mistakes, he learned what would not work, and as a result of it, thought of a way to change his plan so that he would not run into the same problem. Take a moment to think where we would be if Thomas Edison gave up on his fifth try. It's very difficult, isn't it?

I used to think of my mistakes as my own lacking of character, as something which I should have never done. After an innumerable amount of mistakes, I thought that perhaps, instead of wallowing in sadness over my own mistakes, I could instead be planning on how to avoid it (it was actually my parents who told me this). I decided to follow through with that plan, and so, I became completely incapable of ever making another mistake again. Just kidding, I still make mistakes by the hour. This time, I learn from my mistakes. I learn what I did wrong, what I could have done instead, and I make a mental note to do that the next time I ever run into a similar scenario. I feel better about myself when I avoid potholes which I could've fallen into, due to learning from a mistake where I fell into the pothole earlier.

Mistakes are everywhere, but they are there for a purpose. Knowledge is power, but can only gain a higher level of knowledge after making mistakes. Your failures are meant to help you grow as a person, to help you mature. As a result of that, you shouldn't either forget about trying because you know mistakes are important, nor should you have the belief that perfection is a possibility, and that mistakes are a flaw in your character.


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