“If I had to live my life again, I’d make the same mistakes, only sooner.” – Tallulah Bankhead
Mistakes are a part of life. We all make them. We side-swipe a guard-rail. We leave our phone in the restroom at the mall. We watch every episode of How I Met Your Mother, or any episode of Lost. All mistakes, yet we make them.
But mistakes play a larger role, and have greater importance, than might first meet the eye. Fear of making a mistake is one of the great obstacles to happiness and freedom and success in our lives. And it’s not our fault. We were taught from the day we first walk into the classroom at pre-school to follow the rules, follow the crowd, and fit the mold.
But how demoralizing and boring is that? If we never push past that, how can we ever grow? If we never take risks large enough to make mistakes, how can we ever discover adventures and opportunities large enough to expand our limited horizons and open up to us new vistas of potential.
I’m the first to fall into this. The security of what I’ve always known is comfortable, if suffocating. The newness and excitement of the horizon beyond my horizon is terrifying. But if I’m ever going to reach my full potential and push beyond what I’m comfortable with into what I am capable of, I’m going to make mistakes, but guess what, I’m going to learn from them.
And that could very well be the most important lesson of all.