Mistakes. Failures. In the past, I hated to make mistakes. I despised failure even more. Years ago, I would become quite upset over mistakes and failures. It wasn’t until several years ago that I learned that mistakes and failures are important. They are essential in that they are necessary for growth. If mistakes lead to learning and improvement, they are invaluable.
I find it curious that although I understand a concept, sometimes that comprehension does not translate into actual thoughts and feelings. I had this experience recently during a flying lesson. For a while, I had been interested in learning how to fly a helicopter. I guess it was my fear of heights that held me back, but one day I decided to inquire. I took an introductory flight and loved it. I was scared up in the air, but I loved it and decided to continue.
One thing we practice is hovering. It is challenging to coordinate brain, hands and feet to keep the aircraft in a hover in one place a few feet above the ground. I had been showing some improvement over the course of a few lessons. However, during my most recent lesson my flight instructor gave me greater reign over the controls and I did much worse than I had in the past. In the moment I felt disappointed with my performance. It wasn’t until the drive home that I realized that my mistakes were vital for my learning and growth.
Later that day, my son Joey was on his pogo-stick. I watched him with amazement. He was good! I remember when he first got it. He couldn’t even do a single jump without falling off. He practiced. Over time, all his mistakes and little failures created quite a talent for using a pogo-stick.
In the future, I am going to try to make a conscious effort to truly understand the importance of my mistakes in the moment. After all, if I learn from them, they are helping to create a better version of myself.
This is Steve Piriano ready for departure. Until next time…