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Learn from your mistakes

Scott Berkun has a New essay: how to learn from your mistakes

If you’re doing something interesting, mistakes are inevitable. How you learn from your mistakes defines what kinds of mistakes you’ll make the next time: the same ones? New ones? Mistakes that get you closer to success or move you away from it?

How to learn from your mistakes.

[found via McGee's Musings]

This was a good read, particularly because he uses the humor he recommends for analyzing those mistakes.  Some of the basic highlights:

Learning from mistakes requires three things:

  1. Putting yourself in situations where you can make interesting mistakes
  2. Having the self-confidence to admit to them
  3. Being courageous about making changes

He notes that there are non-interesting mistakes, like spilling your coffee down your shirt because you tried to drink it too fast (or from the wrong side of the cup).  If these kinds of mistakes become habitual, there may be a more interesting mistake underneath.

And in closing, he says again that we need to embrace the fact that we aren't perfect.

So the most important lesson in all of mistake making is to trust that while mistakes are inevitable, if you can learn from the current one, you’ll also be able to learn from future ones. No matter when happens tomorrow you’ll be able to get value from it, and apply it to the day after that. Progress won’t be a straight line but if you keep learning you will have more successes than failures, and the mistakes you make along the way will help you get to where you want to go.

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