Sunday 4 January 2015

10 Reasons We Should Make Mistakes

"Make glorious, amazing mistakes" was Neil Gaiman's advice in his New Year Wish, "because if you are making mistakes, then you are making new things, trying new things, learning, living, pushing yourself, changing yourself, changing your world. You're doing things you've never done before, and more importantly, you're Doing Something."
Many amazing inventions (and possibly inventors) have been born of mistakes, from penicillin to Xrays. We think of mistakes as things that are problems and cause injury and death. We think of things aa mundane as spelling mistakes, as worring as forgetting to turn the gas off to tragedies like the sinking of the Titanic.

We don't think of mistakes as learning tools, as ways of experimentation, as ways to find out what works from what doesn't work. It's not call 'trial and error' for nothing!

Quite a few people, according to Quote Investigator have thought similarly about mistakes over the last 150 years:
  1. He who never made a mistake, never made a discovery. (Samuel Smiles, 1859)
  2. The man who never makes enny blunders seldum makes enny good hits. (Josh Billings, 1874)
  3. A man who never makes a mistake will never make anything. ( Mr. Phelps, 1889)
  4. It’s only those who do nothing that make no mistakes. (Joseph Conrad, 1896)
  5. The only man who never makes a mistake is the man who never does anything. (Theodore Roosevelt, 1900)
  6. The man who does things makes many mistakes, but he never makes the biggest mistake of all—doing nothing. (Poor Richard Junior’s Philosophy, 1903)
  7. Every man makes mistakes; they say a man who never makes mistakes never makes anything else. (G.K. Chesterton, 1927)
  8. The man who never makes a mistake must get tired of doing nothing. (Will Rogers, 1993)
  9. A person who never made a mistake never tried anything new. (Albert Einstein, 1995)

10. In 1891 Oscar Wilde wrote in The Picture of Dorian Gray:

“Nowadays most people die of a sort of creeping common sense, and discover when it is too late that the only things one never regrets are one's mistakes.” 

As Gandhi said:

Freedom is not worth having 
if it does not include the freedom to make mistakes.
(Cited in Inspirational Quotes and Thoughts, 2013 by G. Beri)

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