Mistakes are My Birthright; I will Keep Making Them

“While one person hesitates because he feels inferior
The other is busy making mistakes and becoming superior.”
Henry C. Link

I had once jokingly posted on Facebook, “I try so hard. Still I commit a mistake. What the hell? Why am I so human?” A student of mine posted a good reply, “Since we are humans we can commit a mistake and get away. God doesn't have the scope to commit mistakes. One mistake from his side and it all ends. Thank god we are humans.” So very true, the luxury of making mistakes is only available to human beings.

To err is human; to forgive is not our company policy.

Mistakes are an integral part of life, the saying goes, “Foolish make the same mistakes and wise make new mistakes.” As long as we are learning from our mistakes and are not repeating them it is fine. Good leaders always encourage risk taking and remind their team members, “Only those who work make mistakes and those who don’t work, don’t.”

Mistakes also show your risk taking capabilities and your fearlessness. Niles Bohr says, “An expert is a person who has made all the mistakes that can be made in a very narrow field.” One of the joys of life is getting varied experiences, but if you keep hiding in your cocoon, afraid of making mistakes, you would not be able to live and you will just exist. Georges Carpentier says, "Life is very interesting, if you make mistakes."

Every moment of life teaches us lessons. Keep your eyes and ears open and pay attention to what causes the failure and success of others. The famous proverb goes, “Wise men learn from other’s mistakes and foolish from their own.” The habit of developing good observation and analysis of successful and failed behaviors and actions goes a long way in making one wise, so that one learns more from other’s mistakes and less from one’s own.

Find a personal life mentor with similar background (and struggles) and professional mentor in the same profession. Ask them what critical mistakes they made in their life. Remember some professions like medicine, disaster management etc do not have much scope for mistakes as one’s mistakes cost lives.

"Mistakes are a part of being human. Appreciate your mistakes for what they are: precious life lessons that can only be learned the hard way. Unless it's a fatal mistake, which, at least, others can learn from"
Al Franken

One must remember that an error when not corrected only becomes a mistake. Focus on work and meeting timelines and correct the mistakes as far as possible. Analyse the reasons for the mistake so that they are not repeated. Do not feel guilty about making mistakes, all human beings make mistakes including celebrities and our greatest leaders. Dr David Burns says, “Assert your right to make a few mistakes. If people can’t accept your imperfections that’s their fault.” Constantly remind yourself, good judgment comes from experience, experience comes from bad judgment.

Let’s end the article on a humorous note. Laughing at our mistakes can lengthen our own life. Laughing at someone else’s can shorten it. There is a better one coming, tighten your humour belts, Chuck Palahnuik says, “Your birth is a mistake you will spend your whole life trying to correct.”

“The greatest mistake you can make in life is to be continually fearing you will make one.”
Elbert Hubbard

Dr Amit Nagpal is a Personal Branding Consultant with a holistic touch. To know more about him click here:-

He may be reached at amitknagpal@gmail.com


  1. mistakes vary from heavy ones to light ones.. the heavy ones are often regretted...the light ones often laughed at...at the end of the day, they both teach you something about life...and that's what human minds are for..to learn always!!! nice article though!! enjoyed reading every bit!! :)

  2. as long as mistakes are not repeated, they are essential part of being human. Even big mistakes contribute in a big way to our learning and growth.


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