While exploring the city today I stopped at a little hole-in-the-wall restaurant for a bite to eat and to add a quick sketch to my travel journal. I wasn’t overly impressed with the results, but the process is what matters the most to me. There was a young boy who couldn’t have been older than 7 years old hanging out at the patio as well while his mom was working. He was drawing at the table across from me and I was endeared by the shared interest.
After a while, the boy suddenly shot up and crumpled his paper, grumbling to himself. He ripped it up aggressively and threw the remnants on the ground, stomping on them and his marker in a dramatic matter that made me wonder if I should tell him not to give up. After his initial drawing was thoroughly destroyed, he got up and for a moment I thought he was done with art indefinitely.
Until he returned with more paper. This kid drew and destroyed several more sketches, each time ripping them up to stomp on in the same exasperated fashion. Wow, I felt that. What struck me about this action wasn’t that he was destroying his art, it’s that he kept getting up for more paper to keep trying. It was a beautiful reminder, you can hate your art, destroy it if you want, but keep turning more pages to try again.
Learn From Your Mistakes
It’s normal to make mistakes, it can even been seen as a good thing if you are able to learn from your personal mistakes and make changes based on the lessons you’ve learned. Hopefully you are aware enough to admit when you are wrong or when a business idea or plan isn’t working out. Often times those who are so scared of making a mistake are actually holding themselves back from doing what they really want to, because they are too scared to even start or try.
Writing Prompt: make a list of some of the mistakes you’ve made that might be bringing you down, and then how you’ve learned from them in order to not do similar things in the future. How have these things made you the person you are today? How have they helped you progress and grow? Are you able to re-frame these things to see them in a more positive light?
Learn From Others
Save yourself some time and learn from other people’s errors. Do your research and you will probably find numerous articles and information on the web about people trying to do similar things as yourself and find out what didn’t work for them. You can also look around your own life and observe those close to you, not to say to judge people, but just be aware of the mistakes your friends and family are making that have seemed to cause them strife, and try to avoid doing those things yourself.
Fail & Start Again as Quickly as Possible
Once you have failed, you are in the best place to try again. Get the bad ideas out and over with, cut your losses, and figure out a new plan. Don’t stay dredging it out in one specific idea just because you committed yourself to it when it obviously isn’t working. Eventually you will be able to see each “mistake” as an opportunity, rather than some terrible thing that happened, to grow and start fresh again with some new ideas!
“I have not failed, I’ve just found 10,000 ways that didn’t work” (Thomas Edison)