The Freedom to Make Mistakes

Posted: December 22, 2010 in YouMeUS

To begin with, the moment I use the word ‘mistake’, what comes to your mind first? Some of you may consider it to be a negative word, while some others a positive one. Isn’t it? For the positive thinkers, take me in, I’m with you. For the other set of people, who think it’s a negative word, read ahead and I hope to change your mindset (and of course bring in you people into my category too). As far as my interpretation is concerned, this 7 letter word, ‘mistake’, causes me to think, most importantly of the word ‘learning’ in addition to others like experimenting, growing, success and the like.

Freedom that does not give you liberty to commit mistakes, is it worth having? Be it any kind of decision, you’ll always have alternatives from which you need to choose. The freedom of making mistakes simply signifies that, genuine freedom is one where you can make a choice, albeit your selection results into a wrong decision. I would in fact go on say that, freedom where you can decide, but cannot make the wrong decision, is only a camouflaged form of freedom.

Imagine if you are allowed to make a choice, conditional to always making the right choice, then you would probably never be able to take decisions, because you’re always in an attempt to avoid decision making. You or I cannot possibly predict whether the choice is right or wrong, until and unless we choose it. Also, the fear of wrong or right instills in us the fear to take a decision. A countless number of us avoid doing things, purely because we are petrified that we’ll go wrong. So what’s the harm? That’s what real freedom is and I am precisely trying to convey the same when I say ‘freedom to make mistakes’.

‘Mistakes are the usual bridge between inexperience and wisdom’, says Phyllis Theroux. The amount of experience we have today can well be credited to mistakes that we have made in the past. If we did not have the liberty to make mistakes, how would we have gathered so much experience? Let us together reverse the gear of our life and travel back sometime. Now, surely we’ve made bad judgments or mistakes, but this is what gave us experience. We’ve taken good decisions too, do you know how; it’s because of the experience we’ve gained previously. And the best part, so many of us are successful today, guess why; because we ever did take those good decisions. So you see, it’s all linked and the foundation being the freedom to make mistakes.

Mistakes are not meant to be an impediment, they are instead learning experiences in disguise and unless you make choices, you wouldn’t know they are good or bad, and subsequently you wouldn’t know if it’s a mistake. When you allow yourself to make mistakes, you’re in reality, allowing yourself to be a freer and open person. Now you imagine what would life be without mistakes (provided you agree to my interpretation)?

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