Mistakes are more like road signs and less like dead ends. Your personal view of mistakes are defining your personal growth. To do any great art, to pursue something bravely, to lead a group of people somewhere they've never been will involve making lots of mistakes. Mistakes are mentors. Mistakes create a path. Mistakes indicate movement.
Let me give you an example.
I just finished a home project I've been been planning for years. Our master bedroom has an open floor plan, meaning there is a door to enter the room but a large opening leads to the shower and sinks. As our boys have gotten older Melissa has asked for a second level of privacy. We started dreaming of a large barn door to separate the bedroom and the bathroom. As I've grown in my woodworking ability I decided to build the door myself. I'm going to brag now: Look how beautiful this door is!
I've received a lot of praise for the door but no one was there for how many mistakes I made. I made A LOT of mistakes! I miscounted the amount of boards I would need to make the backing of the door. I also glued all these boards together except one, which I forgot to buy. Because I used so much glue to joint the backing boards I had to go light on the glue when assembling the framework. But the mother of all mistakes was this - I didn't measure the rise of the stairs, which meant after I had worked hard on this bad boy I couldn't even get up to the bedroom!
But low and behold my mistakes saved me. Because I went light on the glue for the framework (Because I was running out) I was able to take it off. And because I miscounted boards one board wasn't glued to the rest, I was able to remove the one board, shrinking the door by six inches! Just enough to get it upstairs and re-assemble the door in the room. In the end, the door turned out better than I hoped! Keep in mind I had never built a six foot by seven foot barn door before and there's probably something in your life you've been thinking about doing but the fear of making a mistake paralyzes you.
So remember this about mistakes:
- To get to great, mistakes are necessary
- Mistakes are great teachers
- Mistakes indicate you are human and relatable
- Living mistake free is living risk free. You're setting yourself up for a massive fall (See Peter Principle)
- Mistakes makes the finished product that much more beautiful
Today shouldn't be your opportunity to be perfect, instead it should be your opportunity to really lead. If you're in ministry or starting a business, it's going to require you to do something you've never done before. Mistakes shouldn't stop you, a mistake should produce something even better. In the end you will have made something great and you'll be proud of yourself because you didn't let fear get the best of you.