“Banji.. have you put on your belt?”
“Banji.. are you sure?”
“Yes, mother.. you can see it for yourself”, I said while showing the belt I was wearing.
“HAHAHAHAHA.. I was referring to the seatbelt”. And all passengers in the car laughed at me. Guess what, it’s been 20 over years, and my mother still bring up that incident once in a while.
Nobody likes making mistakes. However our life today can only be better if we learn from the mistake we did yesterday. There is also no way we can be 100% free from making mistakes. So we might as well just accept the fact that we will make mistake and keep learning from it throughout our life.
I believe that there is however another set of mistakes that we need to avoid at all cost – The mistakes we do after making mistakes. Enlisted below are some of the most common mistakes we usually do after making mistakes.
1) Refuse to admit that mistakes had been done
Some people are so egoistic that they will never accept the fact that they had made a mistake. For this type of people, mistakes are signs of weakness and being the egoist that they are, they will never admit to that.
Another type of people who fall into this category is those who were always in denial after a mistake has been made. They are so afraid of making mistakes that they deny the mistake ever happened. These are not the kind of people you want to be around with.
How can we learn from our mistakes if we never actually admit there was one?
2) Try to forget the mistakes
Some mistakes are embarassingly painful. These will usually be buried deep down in our memory with the hope that it will be forgotten. Personally, trying to forget our mistake is a very stupid move. If we forget it, it will be like buying a hideous van and burn it down right away. People will never notice the van but your money spent to buy the van is loss forever. Don’t you value your money?
3) Blame self or others.
This habit has become sort of a built-in habit to everyone. Once a mistake was done, the first thing people will do is to find whose fault it is. It will never serve any function except the illusion that the mistake has been solved. It can be important however to do this if finding the fault will solve the problem.
The worst case scenario is when we are blaming ourselves for the mistake. Once we do this, believe me, there’s no way out. Our mind will use all of its resource to further punish ourselves for the mistake. It will be like a black hole with no way out. Don’t go there.
4) No room for forgiveness.
This is sort of related to point 3. But it is very significant that it deserve its own number. Forgiveness is always the hardest thing to do. We can say anything, read all the books but when your life was screwed up by a person, it will be very hard to forgive him.
That is why, we need to have that room in our heart for forgiveness. Set up this room in our heart. We don’t necessarily need to forgive him right away, but knowing that there’s a room in there for forgiveness will definitely help later on.
5) Justify mistakes
Very similar to point number 1, the person who make this mistake will come up with justification as to why a mistake was made. Remember the girl who cried wolf? She might made a mistake the first time thinking that she saw a wolf. And when the villagers came she made excuses that she was just fooling around. You know how it ended.
Justifying mistakes does not make the mistake go away. It will not help you learn from it either.
6) Refuse to analyze your mistake
Being an engineer, when a problem / mistake occurs in an operation, the first step is always “redefining the problem”. Let say an operator forgot to switch on a pump and ruined the whole operation. I can straight away scold him or give him a warning letter. But this will not solve the problem. If he can forget the first time, the chances are he will forget it again later.
I should study if there were any possibility the pump can be run automatically and thus removing the problem altogether. Or maybe put up a checklist to help the operator remember.
Analyzing mistake is the most important things to do right after a mistake has been made. If not the mistake made will serve no purpose and you will find that your life is just one big boring loop where the same mistake is being repeated everyday
– I wonder –
What’s your biggest shareable mistake in your life?
———– Personal Note ————–
My biggest shareable mistake in life is when I was in my final year. I literally spent all my time chatting on IRC. I failed a subject and did poorly on others. That for me is my most expensive lesson in life.
I made a lot of good friends though.. I just need to manage my priorities better.
Photo Credit – Endlisnis