In this piece, I discuss one very harmful mindset that can hold anyone back, from achieving authentic success.
By this I refer to the habit of avoiding mistakes.
Some people believe in avoiding mistakes at all costs. What they fail to realize is that a time tested way to learning quickly and effectively is by making mistakes – but doing so INTELLIGENTLY.
I call it IMM – Intelligent Mistake Making.
Some of the wisest people you can find are people who take risks to try new things.
People who have experienced the ups and downs of life. People who have made mistakes, learned their lessons/paid the price and moved on to success.
Sometimes they fail, have to get up and try again, and again, until they succeed. Indeed their are times they end up NOT succeeding. But the benefit is rarely ONLY in the final outcome. Quite often it is in the experience – what is learned in the process of trying and failing.
The minute a human being achieves a fault – or error – free status, I believe s/he needs to relocate to heaven.
There would be NOTHING else to remain on earth for. And that’s why I have little patience with persons who make too much of a big deal of mistakes. No one is ever going to be perfect – or free from defect. It is in fact our imperfect nature, which should give us a sense of purpose, if we wish to make our stay on earth worthwhile.
Nature itself offers lessons that buttress the above point. She demonstrates through our exposure to diseases, that we NEED to get a little dirty every now and then, in order to become stronger or “better”.
Let me explain: Those of use who live in Africa know that our children are born with marked natural immunity to Malaria, especially when compared to children born in places where that disease is not endemic.
Our children get their immunity from parents and also from exposure to malaria via mosquito bites. This same principle applies to the use of vaccines (which are produced using the disease causing organism which the vaccines is meant to act against).
In essence I’m saying that it is NOT beneficial to completely INSULATE ourselves from exposure to germs. Research evidence and real-life experiences confirm that 100% germ free environments may deny us the opportunity to develop some degree of natural resistance (via production of anitbodies in response to exposure) to common disease causing organisms, that we may encounter.
The implication of the above point was captured quite eloquently in a line I picked up from a martial arts movie I recently watched.
The star actor said:
“Water that is too pure, has no fish in it”.
I would put it this way:
“People who do not make mistakes, NEVER really achieve progress.”
And that’s the truth. But some people go through life claiming to be better than others, because no one sees them fail at anything.
Sometimes it’s NOT healthy to be too “clean”.
I argue that ANYONE who is not experiencing periodic failure (temporary defeat), is either NOT taking any risks, or is hiding those failures from others. Whatever the case, s/he stands to lose a lot from living that way.
As you start this new year, I ask you to face up to the challenge of getting yourself a little “dirty” (from failing/falling) as the opportunities present themselves (AND THEY WILL!). Your progress towards achieving self-actualisation will depend greatly on doing this.
On a final note, let me wish you joy, happiness, good health, and success in pursuit of your valued goals in 2017 and beyond.
QUOTES WE LOVE
“Water that is too pure, has no fish in it” -Unknown
Source: Line I picked up from a movie
“If you have made mistakes, even serious ones, there is always another chance for you. What we call failure is not the falling down, but the staying down.” ~ Mary Pickford
“An expert is a man who has made all the mistakes which can be made in a very narrow field.” ~ Niels Bohr
“Flops are part of life’s menu. Everyone makes mistakes. High achievers learn by their mistakes. By doing that, an error becomes the raw material out of which future successes are forged. Failure is not a crime. Failure to learn from failure is.”~ Unknown
“Mistakes are part of the dues one pays for a full life.”~ Sophia Loren
“The greatest mistake you can make in life is to be continually fearing you will make one.” ~ Elbert Hubbard
“If you aren’t making any mistakes, it’s a sure sign you are playing it too safe.” ~ John Maxwell
This article is based on a piece first published in 2012 via spontaneousdevelopment.com (now defunct).