Making Mistakes is not Failure

Yuki - Brookline, Massachusetts
Entered on May 1, 2009

If someone asked me whether I have ever made a mistake; I absolutely would answer that I have. I don’t even know how many times I’ve made mistakes in my life, but I can say that everyone at some point in his/her life has made some mistakes. I think the mistakes will make you grow. And one day, you will see that mistakes are not failures. They are the first step of your achievement. I believe that when I make a mistake, I must think about how to do better or how to avoid the same mistake next time. That is my personal philosophy.

I remember that I made one big mistake when I became a middle school student. I took an important exam and I did well on it. However, my second time taking this type of standardized big exam, I thought it would be as easy as the first time, so I didn’t study for it. But actually, the exam was much harder than last time, and as a result, my score was terrible. It was my awful mistake; I underrated the exams. I should have understood that studying before the exams was really important. After that exam, I’ve never made the same mistake. I realized that even if I had done well the second time, I probably would have messed up the third or fourth time. So it was an opportunity to tell me that studying before the tests is important. Moreover, I didn’t regret the results from the exam even though they were horrible. I just think it was my first step of succeeding on the next exams that came my way.

My math teacher always says, “Before you solve a question, think about it first.” He meant to help me when I was always stuck on the same kind of math question. He also says “The first time to make wrong answer and ask how to solve it is okay because you don’t even know how to solve it. That’s the way student learn from teachers. But the second time, you ask for help isn’t so cool because you should know how to do it.” I really agree with what he says. If I don’t know how to do it and make a wrong answer, it’s totally fine. But if I know how to do it and make a wrong answer, it’s so not cool. I believe that his approach to math problems can be applied to life. Think about it, if in math class I can learn from mistakes, I can certainly learn from the mistakes in life this way. When you make a mistake, think about how to do it next time. That’s the way, I always approach life. It’s impossible to make no mistakes so making mistakes is not failure.

Above all, people are supposed to make mistakes because we are human. Even if I carefully avoid mistakes, I probably will still make some mistakes. Making mistakes is not wrong or bad thing. So don’t worry about making mistakes, they are just piece of your achievement and part of your success.