Post #91 Mistakes are a Necessity of Life
Your semester is over, you’re still adjusting to a COVID-19 environment and you’re feeling confused. Or scared. You wonder what the immediate future has in store as you agonize over a few recent mistakes. If you can clear your mind for a few moments and forget about your faults, this article might help you understand mistakes are a necessity of life.
What is a Mistake?
The technical definition of mistake is to “misinterpret, misunderstand, identify wrongly, make a blunder.” This is a broad definition that anyone can apply to their lives in their own context. What this means is that a mistake to you may not be a mistake to another. For example, your roommate may have emptied her bank account. You may say, “How did you make that mistake?” She may reply with, “It’s not a mistake – I intended to get the balance down to zero to qualify for the bank’s new promotion.” In this scenario, your brain told you this was a mistake, but she had a completely different perspective. A mistake is only a mistake if you determine it is so! Be aware of how you label mistakes. Is it possible some of your mistakes are for the better?
You are the Judge
As mentioned above, assess whether you truly made a mistake. Perhaps you had an outburst with a close friend. Maybe you overate and gained some weight, or maybe you flunked a final exam (see Post #17). Are all those things necessarily mistakes? No! Remember a mistake is only a mistake if you label it as so. You get to be the judge of your own life. That means your opinion matters most. In the context of your life and in your studies and in your personality, which of your mistakes are the most significant?
What did you Learn?
The great news here: mistakes are a necessity of life. We humans have no instruction manuals on how to live, or how to be a student, parent, friend, etc. You have been blessed with a brain, and that brain is malleable. It is designed to learn new things, and one of the best ways to learn is by making mistakes. You try, fail, try again, and do it over and over until you’re satisfied. Mistakes are neither good nor bad – mistakes are information. As you think back to some of your mistakes, try viewing them as information or as output to your life. What will you do with this information – how can you manipulate this output to become a more knowledgeable and informed person?
For additional tools and brain exercises to help you manage your COVID-19 circumstances, visit my YouTube video: Managing Student Life During COVID-19.