28. Life



None of us go to bed at night hoping that tomorrow we\’ll get up and start making mistakes. But we do make them, and fairly often too. Some mistakes are bigger than others, and each of us is prone to making our fair share of both the big ones and the little ones.

I\’m sure you\’ve known the feeling of saying the wrong thing at the wrong time. Ouch. And how about the grocery list? Do you ever get mixed up and buy the wrong things? Have you ever called someone by the wrong name? Why, I’ve even walked into the Ladies room thinking that it was the Men’s room. Wow! That’s an awkward mistake to unwind.

Let\’s face it: making mistakes is just a normal part of life. Whenever we\’re active there\’s a chance for error. In fact, the more we do the more mistakes we are likely to make. So does that mean we should just crawl in a hole? No way. Sometimes a mistake can be your best friend.

The success of Coca Cola was the result of a mixing mistake in a drugstore in 1886. Similarly, the Post-It Note was the by-product of a failed attempt to create a particular kind of adhesive. Columbus made mistakes in his calculations, and because of that he discovered America.

In both human and animal life, genetic mutations are common errors (mistakes) in the cycle of development. Occasionally, these mutations will result in a disease, but more often than not they are either inconsequential or, in some cases, even helpful to long term survival.

The bottom line is that mistakes aren’t always bad. Most often they simply render unintended and harmless consequences. Certainly, there are mistakes that can result in serious and permanent problems, but there are also some that can leave you with great opportunties.

Day 28 Guide

It\’s easy to guard against making mistakes: just do nothing. But if you shut down you\’ll never be in a position to take advantage of the opportunities that mistakes can bring. Be sure to look for all of the good in unintended consequences.

© 2009, Levi Hill

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