Any man may make a mistake, but none but the fool will continue in it…. Cicero
Even the knowledge of my own fallibility cannot keep me from making mistakes. Only when I fall do I get up again. Vincent Van Gogh
The road to wisdom? Well, it’s plain and simple to express: Err and err and err again but less and less and less… Piet Hein
News Flash! Man is fallible! Failures, mistakes and errors are innate in our basic nature. We were born to fail! It is a given. What counts is every time we make an error; we have an opportunity to learn new things.
What a wonderful concept. We have infinite capacity for learning. We can attempt something and get it right the first time. It does happen. Mostly we learn by trial and error. Often, we do not get it right the first time, the second time, or even after multiple tries. If we continue to try, and are functioning properly, each time we fail, our instinctive nature learns what to do differently and better; eventually we put it all together and we will be successful. It is wonderfully simple and complex at the same time. We are self-correcting as we keep going.
Is it good to fail in order to learn? The more we fail, the more we learn. The only thing that keeps us from succeeding is the lack of attempts. This assumes we are in fact learning what we did wrong every time we fail. The wise tell us that the only time we really fail is at the point we fail to get up and try again. If we are not failing, we are not learning. If we are not learning and growing as we should, we are not trying enough things. Thomas Edison tried ten thousand variations of filaments before he perfected the design of the light bulb. Each failure was a learning experience that brought him closer and closer to being successful.
A profound truth in all of this is that man is fallible. We are prone to making mistakes. It is one way we learn. Life is a continuous learning process. We must embrace failures as an integral part of our lives. We need failures in order to learn the lessons and gain the wisdom that is always waiting to embrace us. Fear of failure is an enemy which imprisons us. It keeps us from making new attempts at learning and growing. It is an irrational fear. We have to overcome this fear, our apathy, inertia, laziness, complacency, and all these things that prevent us from achieving our potential. We must sometimes fail in order to learn all that we may learn. Every failure can be another step closer to achieving our destiny and being successful.
Challenge: Is fear of failure preventing your success? You do not learn to swim without getting wet. There is wisdom in this? You need the learning, experience, and knowledge that comes from failing. It is the pathway to your success. Are you willing to fail in order to succeed? Change your attitude and your approach. Understand that going backwards or falling down is often a very integral part of the overall process to really going forward.
Wisdom: Wisdom is keeping a sense of fallibility of all our views and opinions. Gerald Brenan
…In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight. Proverbs 3: 6
To the man who pleases him, God gives wisdom, knowledge and happiness. Ecclesiastes 2:26
You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised. Hebrews 10:36
What about the Biblical heroes that were failures before they were ready for God to mold and shape them; such as Abraham, Moses, Samson, Daniel, David, Peter and Paul? It is no different for us. God cannot make us into what were designed to be, until we submit to Him as a piece of clay waiting to be shaped by the Potter. He have free will. We can continue to take matters into our own hands, or we can ask God to help us to a better job of it.
Prayer: Help me to be willing to learn and to listen. Help me to become what you have intended me to become.