Engineers and architects set out to build a massive tower in Pisa, Italy and forgot to ensure stable ground conditions underneath the far too thin foundation. Italy now has the Leaning Tower, which attracts countless visitors.
While doing bacterial research in his lab, Alexander Fleming accidentally left the lid off one of his petri dishes, then departed for a vacation. When he returned, he discovered mold growing in the contaminated dish, which was nothing odd, except that it had killed all the cultivated Staph bacteria. This accident gave us penicillin.
If you are anything like me, your mistakes are far less dramatic than these examples – but the FEEL enormous. In high-school, I was the drum major for the marching band. One of the first half-time shows I was leading, I blew the wrong signal – the entire band turned left and marched into the end zone midway into our routine. I was mortified (obviously scared since I still remember this 35 years later!). The band simply thought we were cut short on time, and the crowd was likely relieved, as we were not that great.
My point is this – making mistakes is essential to your growth.
In fact, if you have gotten to the point that you no longer make mistakes and everything is smooth sailing, then it’s time for you to take bigger risks!
The best way to learn, grow and evolve is to take on a new challenge. The world is full of problems that need solutions, and as a human, you are an excellent problem solver. Child labor, world hunger, war, famine, disease and depression…as you can see we have our work cut out for us.
As you try to tackle whatever challenges you face, you will make mistakes. You will feel discouraged, frustrated and maybe even like you are not making a difference. These occasions are cause for celebration for they are clear indicators that you’re onto something new, and as the old saying goes, “Problems aren’t solved by the behaviors that created them.”
What new mistake will YOU make today?
More importantly – how will you celebrate
and capitalize on these opportunities?