James Joyce once wrote, “A man of genius makes no mistakes. His errors are volitional and are the portals of discovery”; he was speaking about William Shakespeare. Thomas Edison said, “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work”. What does all this mean? Are mistakes simply an essential part of how we develop, both personally and professionally? If so, one could say that most mistakes are in fact positive!
As human beings, despite our best intentions, we make “mistakes” all the time. As Peter Buffet in his book “Life Is What You Make Of It”, he points that “we make mistakes when impatient and indecisive, with foolish acts and foolish failures to act, when overly ambitious and not ambitious enough”. There is no prescription for this and each situation is unique to every individual. Yes we can learn from others but you will never know exactly what works for you unless you try it.
Obviously, a certain amount of caution can be exercised but doing nothing can also be considered a mistake; a Catch 22 if you will! This applies to every single aspect of your life whether it has to do with family, career, health, money, relationships, etc. So what might be some options to mange these “essential mistakes”?
- Do some analysis – assess the “pros and cons” to gain a deeper insight of what might be involved
- Speak to others – identify those you know, like or trust who might have some experience and are prepared to offer their advice
- Hire a coach – seek out an objective, professional confidante who will challenge but also support you along the way
- Be courageous and just do it – maybe walk before your run and you can always adjust your setting along the way.
All of this revolves around being an proactive player in your life and being less concerned about the judgments of others. Perhaps there are no mistakes!
Category: Professional Development