Whether we are talking about an honest one, a little one, or a great big oh #$%^&@! one, we all have made them. And I’ve come to believe that the way we view and how we respond to them plays a huge role in our attitude, approach, and results in life. What am I talking about?
I’m talking about mistakes.
Today’s quotation points to the most productive way to think about this most human of conditions. And leave it to a poet to help us see something so clearly.
Questions to Ponder
– How do I feel about mistakes?
– How often or consistently do I see, and therefore use, my mistakes as an opportunity to learn something?
1. Try something new.
2. If you make a mistake, look for the lessons.
3. Apply the lessons, and try again!
How we view mistakes determines how (or whether) we use them to make our lives and results better . . . or not. If we see mistakes as problems or a failure, we may want to deny, hide, or try to forget them. If, however, we realize they are a natural result of trying something, that they are a part of being human, and that, in fact, they can be “portals to discovery,” we will acknowledge, explore, and use them to advance us towards our goals.
Joyce is right, but like most good poets, in making his point eloquently, he makes an important assumption. Can mistakes be portals to discovery? Yes. Do we always view them or use them in that way? No. The portal is there, but if we don’t see it or use it, it might as well not be there. So, in deference to the author, let me propose a small adjustment – “Mistakes can be portals to discovery.” But those portals will only make a difference when we choose to see them that way.
If you want to progress, learn, and move closer to your goals – if you want to live a fuller, more productive, and happier life, you must choose to see mistakes for what they are – portals to discovery. The choice is yours – and the choice will make all the difference.