Monday, June 23, 2008

More on Mistakes...

Here we, what are the other thoughts I want to share with ya folks on the theme of Mistakes?

- All of us have made mistakes and will make mistakes in future as well. There's no escaping it. However, how we and others around us react/respond to the mistakes we make determines how much we learn, enjoy and experience life as we move on. Sometimes, we forgive ourselves for our mistakes but people around us don't. Handling such a situation could be tricky as it is less under our control and more about others' perceptions and attitudes. Sometimes, it may even result in a loss of trust in us, and that means we must work doubly hard to set things right. Succumbing to the pressure when in such situations can only make things worse. (Having an understanding and encouraging family (friends, colleagues) therefore may make a world of difference) In this context, I must share some verses I came across in an old Tamil song that touched my heart - When you do something inappropriate, if you do it unknowingly, it is a mistake. But if you do it knowingly, it is 'wrong'. When you make a mistake, you must look back and learn from it. And when you do something 'wrong', you must correct yourself and learn from it. In Tamil, these verses are an alliteration and rhyme as well - so, it sounds a lot more awesome when narrated in Tamil than in English. And I think one of the most unfortunate things about how others react to our mistakes is based on their interpretation of whether we made a mistake or did something 'wrong' and also about how much it affects them at a personal level. When it affects someone at a personal level, emotions take over and logic or understanding take a lower seat.

- Here's the KM angle to it - if a 'Mistakes' graph were to be plotted - with the number of mistakes that one makes on the Y axis and Time/Learning on the X axis - the area and the shape/direction of the graph would depend, among other things, on the balance that one draws between learning on one's trial and error....and learning from others. Learning from others and through observation certainly helps the graph move in the downward direction with progress on the X axis. But sometimes making a mistake becomes essential to learn something in totality - and a lesson learnt thus is more effective and closer to one's heart as it comes through personal experience and not a belief in something outside of our own experience. The self-learning approach may also lead to a surprise discovery.

- Not letting mistakes scare one, or make one feel ashamed, ignorant, or insecure I guess is critical if one wants to move on with life and achieve something in the long run. In the past, I have let mistakes I made dictate and prevent me from moving forward and that has been a greater regret than anything else. But, ironically, making the mistake of letting a mistake dictate has itself been a realization that I have learned from and have been able to work on in certain cases.

- I have nothing much to say about mistakes that are tragical in heart weeps for such situations and people involved in them. Sadly, many a time, I believe the situation ends up on a tragic note, not because of the mistake itself but in fact because of the reaction of the people involved. I wish people (including myself) were more sensible, tolerant, patient and forgiving in such circumstances. This is where a spiritual orientation helps.

- Controlled enthusiasm and passion for the activity may, I suspect, reduce the chances of one making mistakes. The right kind of guidance and encouragement will, of course, prevent mistakes from being made and moreover facilitate easy recovery from mistakes. Absence of an Ego in people around you will prevent them from pointing out mistakes repeatedly and saying "I told you so!". Count yourself lucky if you have such a family/friends!

Hey, where am I going with this? No idea, actually. Random ramblings. Let me stop here before I make the mistake of "Paralysis through Analysis!" but let me end with something positive ;-)

- End of the day, let's not be afraid of mistakes, making mistakes, and the consequences of making mistakes. Let's have the confidence and the attitude to learn from our mistakes and move on with even more enthusiasm and a determination to conquer those mistakes! Let's neither defend our mistakes nor glorify them! Let's share our mistakes with others so it helps them as much as possible! :-) We perhaps need the maximum strength when we go through the initial phases of learning, which is where we tend to make the most number of mistakes and the most horrible of mistakes! :-)


Jojo said...

A nice topic and a very nice presentation.
I would like to add my thought with your permission,
"Mistakes are not made by Mistake."

No offence meant or none taken....

Nimmy said...

Thanks for leaving a comment, Jojo. I guess there's a lot more to this I did not touch upon fear and how it leads to more number of mistakes...sigh....but what's the point in just talking? Right now, I want to apply these thoughts!!