Einstein Life Hacks #6 of 10 – Making MISTAKES


If there was ever a life hack that I have down pat, it is this one.   Fortunately, nearly every time I make a mistake, I “get it” the first time and do not repeat it.

[Note the caveat of “nearly”.  Nobody is perfect.  Not even Einstein.] 


Einstein observed that a person who never made a mistake, never tried anything new.  I would add that it also implies that they were not willing to risk not getting it right.  As long as you learn from your mistakes, it actually can be an incredibly positive force.

Think about the toddler that falls down and gets back up again, over and over again.  It is the getting back up again that actually strengthens their legs.

And of course most of us have heard the story about what happens when the caterpillar spins the chrysalis and you try to get the butterfly out by cutting the chrysalis open.  Rather than freeing the beautiful new creature, it actually is left to die, as without the pressure of pushing its wings against the chrysalis to break out, it just isn’t possible for the butterfly to fly.  The pushing is what makes the wings strong.

Where mistakes become problematic is when you do the same thing over and over again and expect different results.  Einstein is credited with saying that this is the definition of insanity.  Whether he did or not, I don’t know, but no matter who said it, it is so true.  In fact, painfully so.

To try something new, you have to recognize that the old is — well, OLD.  And that it may even be flawed.

Status quo means “the current state of affairs”.   I firmly believe that status quo is the enemy of greatness and of innovation.  Don’t get complacent out of fear of failure.  If you have made a mistake, even a serious one, as long as you can learn from it and even remember the pain that it caused, you are unlikely to repeat it.   And sometimes, changing direction and trying something new is the order of the day, even if you don’t feel ready.

Tomorrow we are going to talk about creating value in your business.  So lay aside the mistakes and let’s move on to the next level, remembering what we said in Friday’s blog about the danger of not being in the present.

Stay tuned.

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