02 Aug Mistakes Make Amazing Teachers
Don’t Be Afraid to Take ACTION
By Motivational Speaker and Smile Expert Darryl Davis
There is an old adage that goes, “Success is the worst teacher because you learn only from your mistakes.” Most of us look at mistakes and challenges as a bad thing, when in fact, it’s our mistakes that help us learn to improve. There is a story I heard once about a ceramics teacher who announced on opening day that he was dividing the class into two groups. All those on the left side of the studio, he said, would be graded solely on the quantity of the work they produced; all those on the right side would be graded solely on its quality.
His procedure was simple: on the final day of class, he would bring in his bathroom scales and weigh the work of the “quantity” group. Those being graded on quality, however, needed to produce only one pot—albeit a perfect one—to get an A. Well, grading time came, and a curious fact emerged: the highest-quality works were all produced by the group that was being graded on quantity. It seems that while the quantity group was busily churning out piles of work (and learning from its mistakes), the quality group had sat theorizing about perfection, and in the end, had little more to show for its efforts than grandiose theories and a pile of dead clay.
The lesson here is that taking action and being willing to fail is the quickest route to success. True, you may not be perfect in whatever you do—whether it’s a business project, a personal relationship, or even playing sports—but if you think about it all day (or longer) and never actually “get in the game,” you’ll have little to show for it. Are you one of those people who suffer from “paralysis by analysis”? If so, unless it’s a matter of life and death, the best thing to do is to make a decision and give it a try. You can always correct your course once you break the inertia and get moving.
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