April 9

Today's quotation:

Like most people, Aunt Hattie Mae explained, I saw my mistakes as failures--setbacks and defeats to disappoint, depress, or demoralize me.  What they really are, however, are opportunities.  Because it is from our mistakes that we learn the lessons we need to develop and grow. . . .

Patti LaBelle

Today's Meditation:

I wish my students these days would make more mistakes.  I'm teaching Spanish at a university, and the major problem in class is that my students don't speak enough because they're afraid of making mistakes.  But mistakes are absolutely necessary when one is learning a language, and the more a person makes, the better that person gets in speaking the language.  But our society has deemed mistakes to be something "bad," and if you don't take a risk, you won't make mistakes, and you won't be judged.

In languages, I generally have to make a mistake three times before I actually learn the correct way to say something.  If I'm changing an outlet in my house, of course, a mistake can be very costly, so my tolerance for mistakes is much lower, but in general I'm fine with making them.  I learn a lot from my mistakes, and I become a better person not just for having made them, but for having acknowledged them and done my best to correct them.  When I say something stupid to someone, for example, that's a mistake that I can't undo, but I can apologize for it and put it behind me.

Any time we take a risk, we're probably going to make mistakes.  Any time we do something we haven't done before, it's best that we make lots of mistakes early so that we get good at it sooner.  Unfortunately, many people see those early mistakes as reasons not to keep with it, and they give up because of mistakes before they get a chance to get good at what they're doing, which is when they're going to enjoy it much, much more.

Make mistakes.  Let them teach you, and let them motivate you to do better in the future.  But don't let them discourage you.  Our mistakes are among the most important things that we'll ever make in life, and the more we make, the more we learn and grow.

Questions to consider:

Why do so many of us see mistakes as being completely negative?

What are some important things that you've learned from making mistakes?

What would a life without mistakes be like?

For further thought:

Mistakes aren't just our teachers; they're also our motivators.  They cause us to reexamine our choices, revise our plans, and, in some cases, reconsider the way we live our lives.  And change them for the better. . . .
The person who makes no mistakes doesn't usually make anything.  And when you learn to see your mistakes for what they are-- compulsory education--the harder you fall, the higher you'll bounce.

Patti LaBelle
  

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