Daily Inspiration: “Don’t stress about the things you did wrong. Refocus and learn from the things you did right!”


“Don’t stress about the things you did wrong. Refocus and learn from the things you did right!” – Futurist Jim Carroll

Mistakes are good for you!

Even though it usually doesn’t seem like it at the time  – all of us are usually faced with moments of dread when things go wrong. But what is really happening is that when things are going wrong, if we are listening and watching carefully, we’re setting ourselves up to get things right.

A key rule about success is that you won’t always get it right the first time. In fact, it might take you many attempts before you figure out the solution to your problem. As in – ‘it’s learning by doing!’ 

The ability to learn as you go is a key part of the process of innovation – because you shouldn’t get trapped in chasing the purgatory of perfection. In fact, you must consciously decide not to get caught in an ‘innovation rut’ – making excuses as to why you should not be trying to do new things. It’s perfectly acceptable and even desirable to continuously try to do new things and make mistakes along the way. That’s because every mistake that you make will be a learning experience that you can use for insight on your next attempt.

Not only should we accept failure and mistakes – but we should fail often! Some of the greatest innovations in history are the result of failure – WD40 went through 40 formulations before they got it right – hence the name! Bubble wrap was originally considered a failure because it was designed as some sort of wallpa[er; James Dyson tested over 5,000 prototypes before getting his vacuum right; the breakfast cereal Wheaties went through 36 iterations before a successful formulation was found; the Apple Newton eventually led to a team that developed the iPod and then the iPhone.

If you aren’t making enough mistakes, you aren’t working hard enough to get ahead in the future! That’s why a few of my posts over the years have featured the beauty to be found in error Such as, “Stop making the same mistakes. Make some new ones!”

Not only should we accept our mistakes as. a path to progress, but we should embrace the concept because it has a name: continuous improvement.

Often, we get locked into patterns and routines and end up doing the same thing over and over again. Remember that quote attributed to Einstein? The problem with this approach is that if we keep making the same mistakes through routine, then we really aren’t learning anything. It would make more sense for us to make *different* mistakes, compare them to our earlier mistakes, see what was changed, and learn accordingly. Try different things, and you’ll get different results — and even if you fail, it’s a step along the pathway to success! And so, “If it works the first time, you didn’t make the challenge tough enough!”

This is very true right now when there is so much opportunity to do things you haven’t done before!

Experiment, explore, push the boundaries, take risks, and yet discover joy in trying new things!

That’s innovation – and in essence, a willingness to make mistakes along the way!


THE FUTURE BELONGS TO THOSE WHO ARE FAST features the best of the insight from Jim Carroll’s blog, in which he
covers issues related to creativity, innovation and future trends.