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Make Your Mistakes Faster

By steve - Posted on 24 September 2009

Everybody makes mistakes. Even I made a mistake once. One time I thought I was wrong, but it turned out I wasn't.
--Me (among others)

Everybody makes mistakes. Everybody.

Think about the people you know. Is there someone that stands out in your circle that you consider to be wise? If not in all things, I'm sure you know someone wise in a particular area of life or work. How do you think they acquired that wisdom?

Was it by reading what others were doing? Maybe a little...

Was it by hanging around watching smart people succeeding or others failing? Maybe some...

More than likely, though, the reason that person is wise is that they have experience and experience is really just another word for "made some mistakes". Probably a lot of mistakes. Maybe some real big mistakes. The difference between a wise man and a fool is that the wise man has learned something and the fool repeats his mistakes.

As a dog returns to its vomit, so a fool repeats his foolishness.
--Proverbs 26:11

One cause of procrastination is the desire to make things perfect. Most people want to complete a project, or create something, that is completely free of mistakes. Most people would agree, though, that creating or doing something perfectly is impossible for us humans.

The problem isn't that people make mistakes, it is that they just don't make them quickly enough! Short of a truly "fatal error", during your daily work, it should be your intention to make your mistakes much more quickly than anyone around you.

Now, clearly, you can't just make mistakes and say, "oh well". You have to quickly fix the mistake with a reasonable solution. However, make it a point to always learn from your mistakes and quickly move on. The more mistakes you make, the more you learn from them. The more you learn, the less likely you are to make another similar mistake.

Important: you can't make the same mistakes over and over. No matter how quickly you do it, this is detrimental. It also shows you aren't learning from it.

No, what I'm talking about is accepting that you'll make mistakes, but concentrating on learning from the mistake, moving on quickly, and getting on with it!

A couple of do's and don'ts to get you started making mistakes faster:
* do accept that you will make mistakes
* do make your mistakes more quickly
* do learn from your mistakes
* do have a sense of urgency
* don't accept inaction because of fear of making a mistake
* don't wait until things are perfect
* don't dwell on your mistakes

Remember, most people are wise because of mistakes they've made, not because they have executed everything perfectly.

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