People romanticize perfection that they forget the art of being wrong and learned.
Our education taught us to avoid mistakes at all costs. Mistakes are a big no – if you want to excel. However, against this eclectic and counterintuitive approach, we have missed the whole point of learning.
Faults are a big portion of our lives. Whether they are directly or indirectly caused, they should be a reason to rejoice. For every lapse, there comes a lesson… even creativity and luck.
Think about it, oversights made Washington refined his military tactics in order to turn the tides of the American Revolution. Lincoln’s mishaps eventually led him to employ Ulysses Grant who brought defeat against the Confederacy.
The Texas Revolution showed General Sam Houston and the Republic of Tejas’ blunders. They acted too late and never sent reinforcement to some of the war’s most important early battles. That emboldened General Antonio Lopez de Santa Ana and made him complacent. At the time, being ahead of his main army, de Santa Ana’s battalion got lenient and forgot to fortify their position. Houston’s army advanced when they least expected, butchering most of the Mexican regiment. That one decisive action led to the capture of de Santa Ana and the eventual surrender of Mexico.
Let us be honest, being wrong can bring shame. But, derision is temporary if we eye improvement in the long run. Plus, we do not need to be caught up in the pangs of the past. Most of our miscalculations will pass. We must live and learn in the present.
Not all of us will be endowed to embrace faults. And not all will make that conscious effort to grasp it. It takes guts and harden determination to accept fault. Comfort at being wrong brings a certain mentality and a kind of character. It is a product of practice and willingness to espouse reflection.
In order to reach that level of comfort – engaging in fault – there are mindsets that create the whole experience.
Allowing Creativity to reign
One Reader’s Digest article mentioned of a maritime brainstorming session that happened during the first World War. At the time, the British Royal Navy was devising ways to clear shipping lanes of Axis Naval Mines. Several suggestions were laid out. But some of them were costly and impractical. It was until an officer trying to lighten the mood blurted about jumping on the mines. The idea was ludicrous. But shortly after he made that suggestion, another bloke proposed spraying the mines away to be approached and diffused by paddle minesweepers.
Among the greatest entrepreneurial comebacks in history was Steve Jobs’. His Stanford Commencement speech recollected the times when he was publicly ousted from Apple to be back and later revolutionize the company decades after.
The speech showcased his reflections at the time and how he needed such medicine to improve. He admitted his shortcomings as founder.
It shows how one can rise from the ashes by taking responsibility – admit their fault – to reach the epitome of success.
Question your Beliefs – Reflections
Early in his political activism, Nelson Mandela embraced violence as a means to fight the apartheid government. His decade of incarceration led him to reflect on his past actions and how it molded him to be the unifier of the nation. In his memoirs, he mentioned – that his time behind bars led him to ruminate on the Gandhi type of approach and the Martin Luther King’s tolerance to unify all of South Africa.
In the end, his compassion led his countrymen to abolish the apartheid and summon a government which treated all South Africans – regardless of color – equal.
No matter where we are in life, it is never too late to admit and embrace fault. Aside from honing our skills, it is among our best ways to develop.