September 25, 2021

Don’t Just Make Mistakes — Milk Them

At one point in your life, you might have seen the words “Make mistakes” alongside a YOLO or a quote on taking risks.

Maybe you saw it on a restaurant’s framed wall art. Or on your ex-boyfriend’s old t-shirt.

But the title wasn’t a typo. I really wrote “milk.” Because as a self-proclaimed perfectionist, I find the thought of intentionally making mistakes maddening. So let’s not go there.

I wanted to focus on making the most out of the times we were, well, idiots. They say if we mess up, all we gotta do is stand back up and try again with a head held high, forward-facing. That sounds empowering, right?

But what if, before we do all that, we take the time to examine what tripped us up? Just so the next time we find ourselves facing the same hurdle, we’d know better than fall for it again.

Don’t overdo it, though.

Don’t pick up the rock that hurt your foot, and definitely don’t make it the cornerstone of your new dwelling. Instead, take a moment to pause, reflect on what went wrong, and then move forward with the data.

These are some of the questions that help me extract valuable takeaways from my mistakes:

  1. How do I feel about this experience? Why am I not willing to feel this way again?
  2. What are the choices that led me here? What are the consequences?
  3. How can I prepare and not fall for the same trap again?

You can forget your mistakes if you want. But as for me, I’ll milk them and make sure I’ll leave the situation wiser and stronger.

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