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Monday, March 9,2015

The Joy of a Good Mistake

By Mort Crim  


National radio broadcaster and author of seven books, including Second Thoughts, shares his essays, which are like the voice of an old friend - kind, encouraging and filled with gentle wisdom. To learn more about Mort Crim and hear a daily “Second Thought,” visit

There are two kinds of mistakes: Those that teach and those that destroy. That second kind we certainly want to avoid. But the first kind, the teaching kind, not only is okay, they’re necessary.

When I began flight training, my instructor allowed me to make mistakes, even encouraged it. Within limits, he was careful to see that I didn’t do something from which the airplane couldn’t recover.

Too often we go through life afraid to make mistakes, but there’s no progress, no growth without them. What matters is that we distinguish between mistakes from which we can recover and those which might be fatal.

I heard a prominent publisher say recently that out of the past twentyone years he’d had only one really bad year and that year, he said, taught him a lot. Mostly it taught him how to never have another year like that.

The best mistakes are the ones that not only are survivable, but that also empower us to not make them again. Attempting to avoid all mistakes would be the biggest mistake of all.

This is what the Lord says: When people all down, don’t they get up again? When they start down the wrong road and discover their mistake, don’t they turn back? Jeremiah 8:4 NLT

The Joy of a Good Mistake

He who has never failed somewhere, that man cannot be great.

– Herman Melville

To make a mistake is not in the power of man; but from their errors and mistakes the wise and good learn wisdom for the future.

– Plutarch


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