Don't Fear Mistakes
"An expert is someone who knows
some of the worst mistakes that can be made in his subject, and how to
-Werner Heisenberg, Physics and Beyond
"An expert is a man who has
made all the mistakes, which can be made, in a very narrow field.
When I was growing up, I used to be a perfectionist. I
tried to do everything as perfectly as possible, to the point that I
exasperated my sister, who called me "the good sister". I didn't
understand at that time why people would be so upset if I was only trying
to do my best... but now that I'm older and wiser, I see that people are
often charmed by those who make mistakes, and are willing to admit it.
I used to think that experts don't make mistakes, that they were experts
because they don't make mistakes. If you can visualize Martha
Stewart taking a collapsed souffle out of the oven, or making a quilt whose
edges weren't straight and it makes you laugh, then you know what I mean!
Most people idolize experts, giving them respect precisely because they
don't make mistakes.
Guess what? Even experts make mistakes. There is an old saying, "Good
judgment comes from experience... and experience comes from bad judgment".
We all need to try our wings at things, fall down, and try again. The most
important thing to remember when we do fall down is that we can get up
again -- so don't listen to those who tell you otherwise.
The story of a group of frogs traveling through the woods helps us to
remember this important point. While the frogs were hopping along, two of
them accidentally fell into a deep pit. All the other frogs gathered
around the pit. When they saw how deep the pit was, they told the two frogs
that they were as good as dead. The two frogs ignored the comments and
tried to jump up out of the pit with all of their might. The other frogs
kept telling them to stop, that they were as good as dead. Finally, one of
the frogs took heed to what the other frogs were saying and gave up. He
fell down and died.
The other frog continued to jump as hard as he could. Once again, the
crowd of frogs yelled at him to stop the pain and just die. He jumped ever
higher, and finally made it out. When he escaped from the pit, the other
frogs asked, "Didn't you hear us?"
The frog explained to them that he was deaf.
He thought they were encouraging him the entire time.
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Copyright @ 2001 by Cynthia Sue Larson, All