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Rajesh Setty Headshot

7 Things to Ponder About Mistakes

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You may not want to admit it, but mistakes are part of life.

Here are seven simple things to ponder about mistakes that might help you.

1. If you never stretch enough, you might never fail, but...

If you never stretch enough, you might never fail, but you might never grow either. Growth is not a luxury. It is mandatory to grow even if you want to maintain the status quo. Everything around you is changing warranting you to increase your capacity to deal with the changed reality. So, while stretching enough won't get you pat on the back, not stretching enough might get you a whack on the head.

2. This is not the first time, this won't be the last.

Whenever you make a mistake, first remember that this is not the first time you have made a mistake and this won't be the last time. If you are human, you will make a mistake. Just acknowledging that this is not the first time you made a mistake and accepting the fact that if you keep stretching enough, you will make more mistakes in the future will be a liberating feeling.

3. Taking responsibility for a mistake requires strength

Taking responsibility for your mistake requires strength. But, at the back of your mind the same act looks like a weakness to you. If you view "taking responsibility" as a strength, you will waste no time to admit your mistakes. When you (internally) view "taking responsibility" will seem like a weakness, you will hesitate, postpone and simply deflect the discussion as your ego comes into play.

Remember that not admitting your mistake will rarely make your mistake go away, it will simply increase the price you pay for that mistake.

4. Hindsight is not 20/20 for many people. Hope you are not one of them.

It is a cliché to say, "hindsight is 20/20." Unfortunately, this is not true for many people who don't even know they made a mistake in the first place. Worse yet, those people might think it is the mistake of others that got them into trouble. Not noticing one's mistakes is sad because not only one will pay for that mistake but also one will not learn from it.

Hindsight better be 20/20 for you else you will pay a bigger price for mistakes to come.

5. Either you succeed or you learn.

The only two options are either you succeed or you learn. What you might forget is that you might succeed for many reasons outside of your effort. For example, you might succeed because of luck.

When you succeed, it is easy to attribute everything to your hard work and intelligence and when you fail, you will be tempted to look outside of yourself to find a "cause." Rather than playing games, if you focus on the learning from failure you will not only become better but also save a lot of time.

6. You are here. Where next?

Of course, you pay for your mistakes. You may not know the surcharge associated with that payment. That surcharge is the time you spend brooding over your mistake or failure not taking any action on your other priority items.

If you remember this one statement, you will immediately center yourself to stop in to the present -- which is all you have at your disposal anyway. That statement is: You are here. Where next?

7. Forgiving someone for his or her mistake is a gift that you give to yourself.

If you have come this far, you know that mistakes are part of life. We talked about how to deal with your mistakes. How about mistakes of others that will affect you in one way or the other. The easiest response is to forgive and forget quickly, unless you pay it through your happiness. Forgiving other's mistakes is a true gift you are giving to yourself. Forget about the moral aspect of forgiving -- think about the practical aspect of clearing up your mind space for something more meaningful.

You get to live once, so why clutter your mind with things that will not help you in your future?