Most of us have grown up with the lesson that failure is bad. Me too. I have always hated making mistakes and failing at something. Such a shame. The lesson taught growing up should be: fail and become stronger!
Fail and become stronger
When I go to the gym and train my muscles I make sure they fail and I injure them. They adapt and become stronger. That is how it works. Fail, adapt and become stronger.
We found out what did’t work
Failure is the reason we are here today. We are here because of billions of mistakes that were made. Evolution taught us that lesson. We are here, not because we found out what works. But mainly because we found out what didn’t work. We failed and adapted. And failed again and adapted again.
Inventions that were made by mistake
Some of the greatest inventions were made by mistake. Alexander Fleming invented Penicillin by mistake. Wilhelm Röntgen stumbled on X-rays while experimenting on something else.
Have you ever used a post-it note? It was a mistake! In 1968 a scientist at the 3M company was trying to create a super strong adhesive. He accidentally created a very weak adhesive that would peel off when removed from any surface. No one thought there was any use for such a product, until another scientist realized that the little pieces of paper made great book marks for his books without leaving residue on the page.
The first pyramids that were built look very different from the ones that were built much later. We went into space. But it cost us many exploding rockets and loss of lives.
Make mistakes and learn
It works similar on a much smaller scale. Think of it: when you make a mistake, you learn. When you fail, you learn. And you become stronger and better. Fail and become stronger.
With my first blogs, 10 years ago, I made a lot of mistakes. I did not see them back then, but my blogs were not well structured and hard to read. I dit not use any formatting and headings. And I did not really write with an audience in mind. In ten years I will probable read these blogs and see all of the mistakes I made.
When I finished school and started working I made a lot of mistakes. And since then I have never stopped making them. But somehow I managed to do more things that worked.
We also hate to see our kids fail. We should encourage them to try things and make loads of mistakes.
On social media and tv we usually see the veneer. Below that veneer are all the scratches we don’t see. The things people put on Facebook and Instagram are the ‘happy and successful’ things. We usually don’t make pictures of our failures and post them.
Pass on this lesson to your kids: fail and become stronger.
And don’t be afraid to show the cracks and scratches. Leonard Cohen sang it:
“There is a crack, a crack in everything
That’s how the light gets in.”