You’ve made a mistake, what you do next will determine whether or not you fail or succeed. Will you learn from the mistake, or will you let it define you. In my eye there is really only one way to truly fail, and that is to completely give up. That happens when you make a mistake and you don’t carry on afterwards. The mistake begins to define you, it’s what broke you down. It can be surprisingly easy to do, and it can also be incredibly difficult to do. I’ve seen it happen to too many people, but it was never an option for me. It’s a choice that we make constantly, but should we try and learn from our mistakes, we tap into an unlimited pool of potential.
My life is full of mistakes, I think most people would probably say the same about their lives. Making mistakes is a part of life, and in making them we grow. We are told not to touch a stove, but we don’t know why until we burn ourselves on it. That’s a painful mistake to make, but you’re not likely to repeat it intentionally. I’ve made many mistakes and disappointed a lot of people, something I never wanted to do, but it’s made me a much better person. Striving to become a better man, I often fall short, but I am constantly growing because of it.
There is one thing to remember about making mistakes, there are no mistakes you can’t bounce back from. The only job I’ve ever been able to get where I’m from was a job not many people wanted to work. People would quit constantly, making it an easy job for me to get since I’m not very sociable. Many of the employees had recently been incarcerated, which made me nervous at first. I found in working there that my co-workers were the greatest part of the job. Some of them had made some mistakes, but they were trying to make up for it. They were working a rather difficult job, that wasn’t very pleasant because it was a way to survive. Some people might consider getting by through those means to be failing, but I’d argue that it’s success. For many people it was the first step towards forgiving themselves and learning from their mistakes.
“Snapped out of it yet? Everybody makes mistakes… it’s to be expected… but when you do make a mistake, you should be slugged by someone. I mean, there’s no need to punish yourself… at the time you might think it’s a mistake you can never undo… even if it is… if we kick and scream and fight like hell we’ll move forward a little bit. I was taught to believe in the me that believes in myself. You had the courage and strength to try and do something that I never could have done no matter what… What’s so terrible about that?” – Gurren Lagann
The quote might make more sense to people who’ve watched the series, it’s something that really resonated with me in life. I think it’s a perfect guideline for those striving for success. I can’t even begin to count how many times I’ve watched that scene in the wake of a failure, or quoted it to others. You can sit around beating yourself up because you’ve made a mistake, or you can get on your feet and fight your way forward. Regardless of what happens, you can always be proud of the fact that you had the courage and strength to do something that no one else did. People might consider you a failure, but that’s all up to you. Will you choose to fail or try to succeed?