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Your Job is to Make Mistakes: Make Them Often, Make Them Well, Make Them Wisely

Updated on August 17, 2010

You think YOU'VE had a rough day!

Sitting around? Get up, get involved. Fall on your face. Get up again. Succeed!
Sitting around? Get up, get involved. Fall on your face. Get up again. Succeed!

“While one hesitates because he feels inferior, the other is busy making mistakes and becoming superior.” Henry C. Lusk

Talk about fun. I have been contributing to a thread on Facebook about whether life has meaning or not. Is there really a God? Do we give everything its meaning? Is the universe an energetic blank slate? No one really has The Answer but the answers keep coming.

In the mean time, the whole game has spawned an article in me. No ultimate answer or anything. Just a thought or two…

“I know that chances are that it’s quite possible to think that maybe the universe has no meaning unless we give it or there is a Universal Source or not.” No, that isn’t the article sub-title. Rather, it’s the crux of the Facebook thread. Bizarre, eh?

Where is this going? With all the discussion about Ultimate Reality—on Facebook and everywhere—perhaps, by admiring rather than disliking your mistakes, you can come to a more enlightened opinion, sense, decision—whatever—about the direction your life may be taking. Does it have meaning?

You’ve made both large and small mistakes in your thinking, your acting, your craving for attention, your job, your religion. That’s a no-brainer and it’s OK. So have the rest of us. And we’re living the results. Let’s make some new ones together and perhaps discover a solution or two as well. You won’t be an angel at the end, but you’ll be a little closer to heaven, guaranteed.

How to make meaning…

First, when you begin your day, notice any sense of unease. That may be your Inner Voice trying to get your attention—or your bladder. You have to admit that you don’t pay as much attention to that Voice as you could, right? It doesn’t seem quite as urgent as the bladder.

  • Mistake: Not listening. Solution: Pee, then listen better. It will make the day much more interesting.

Second, during the course of your day, watch for any insincere emotions—mostly yours. How do you really feel about any given issue? Are you still carrying your mother’s opinion? Can you be honest or will that honesty step on toes? Tricky, eh?

  • Mistake: Dishonesty. Solution: Self-assessment. “How does dishonesty serve me?” It has, or you wouldn’t use it as often as you do. Me, either.

Third, look for contradictions and inconsistencies in your words, deeds, and responses to other people—and to yourself. These things suggest a shaky undergirding—emotionally, socially, spiritually. They produce whatever results you’re currently getting in your life, nice and not so nice.

  • Mistake: Stepping out of integrity. Solution: Admitting it, then stepping back in again. You make your habits and your habits create your character. Make integrity a habit.

Fourth, when you see, smell, hear, or taste the truth, don’t ignore it. It will continue to come ‘round until you acknowledge it. Lies scurry into the dark, even though well dressed. Truth is naked and seeks light. It usually finds it.

  • Mistake: Trying to hide from the truth in any given situation. Solution: Recognize that truth is an ally while lies are your enemy. Befriend your enemy; live the truth.

Fifth, you have a certain amount of days on this planet. Begin to relish each one. Each day brings new gifts, challenges, risks, hurts, joys, people. Jump out to meet them all. Don’t pass over them. They all matter. Another blink and they’re gone.

  • Mistake: Taking your days for granted. Solution: Deliberately choose to make each day grand. Use your imagination. There are plenty of ways. Like, go on Facebook and join a thread. (I know. Some of you think it’s a waste of time. So, come up with something else already!)

Sixth, learn from your mistakes. OK, so you’ve heard this one a million times before. If it annoys you to hear—read—it again, work is still needed.

  • Mistake: Thinking mistakes are bad. Solution: Apply lessons learned. Make better mistakes. “Every noble work is at first impossible.” Thomas Carlyle

Seventh, and finally, trust yourself. Wherever you are on your current journey, you’ve made it here. Sure, you’ve screwed up along the way. Maybe a lot. But something, someone, or a lot of someones, have cleared a path for you. You have taken at least a few good steps, made a few good turns, did a few good deeds or all those someones would not have let you pass. You’d have been in the grave or on the cremation pyre by now.

  • Mistake: Taking yourself way too seriously. Worse: Feeling sorry for yourself. Worst: Blaming others. Solution: Lighten up. Your best is still to come.

All in all, you’re doing a good job. Plenty of room for improvement, of course, but one day at a time. Besides, in the overall scheme of things, no mistake has been made and you have every right to be here. If the universe had not happened exactly as it did, you wouldn’t have made it.

It has been said that the spiritual journey is not in the saying but in the doing. “To know and not to do is to still not know.” Buddha

With that in mind, I leave you with this powerful recommendation:

“Let us be glad of the dignity of our privilege to make mistakes, glad of the wisdom that enables us to recognize them, glad of the power that permits us to turn their light as a glowing illumination along the pathway of our future. Mistakes are the growing pains of wisdom. Without them there would be no individual growth, no progress, no conquest.” William Jordan


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    Post Comment

    • RichardSpeaks profile imageAUTHOR

      Richard Kent Matthews 

      7 years ago from Portland, OR Metro Area

      And thank you. Hope it's been helpful.

    • Highvoltagewriter profile image

      William Benner 

      7 years ago from Savannah GA.

      You are right, we must be willing to F**k things up from time to time! Well written hub. thanks!


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