Mistakes and Failures
For the first time in a very long time, the sun was shining in Ithaca, and I succumbed to a feeling of elation. What followed was one of my favorite days of the week. I had two classes, my blogging job, and my Kessler Fellows seminar at night. With such a packed day, sometimes I lose sight of the little things in life, but with the bits of elation that I felt yesterday, I couldn’t help but notice a poster on my way to work that said “How to Better Assess Risk Management.” After seeing this poster, I immediately thought, if we did what we were passionate about, and we did everything we could to succeed, would we really have to assess risk? I feel as if we would only assess risk if we were in something for the wrong reason and we weren’t well educated on that subject. I mean, there’s always exceptions to the rule, but in general, that intuitively makes sense to me.
And I’m a firm believer in learning from my mistakes and failures. I remember this one time I was taking a quiz in Linear Algebra and I had dared to do something that I had never done while using the strategies that I had learned in class. I went with the feeling and solved the problem they way that I would have instead of leaving it blank. After class, I talked to the TA and asked him if I could approach the problem in the manner that I had, and he said giggled and said “No, why did you do that?” To which I responded, “I would have rather tried it and failed on this quiz rather than on the prelim.” He finished our conversation by stating, “You are very bold. That is a good thing.”
After seeing me struggle multiple times but come back week after week, he was impressed by my tenacity. And I knew, even if I failed, I sure would have learned something.
So what does it truly take to get people to stop assessing and start doing? I agree that there’s risk in everything you do, but if it’s something your passionate about, there are probably more ways to be successful than not. And so what if you fail? What doesn’t kill you only makes you stronger right?