The Value of Failure
No one likes to admit they made a mistake. Sure, some people are better and quicker at admitting mistakes than others, but I don’t think anyone can say they actually enjoy having to fess up when they mess up.
Failure has value when we admit our mistakes. As I have told my boys many times after a failure: “Learn from it and move on.”
Our fessing up to mistakes also has tremendous value for others, too. My mom was right when she implored me as I entered my teen years to learn from her mistakes. Today, I realize that the best mistakes to learn from are other people’s mistakes. Unfortunately, it took me 20 years to realize how very right my mother was. I wonder how much pain I could have avoided had I understood this sooner and had I been teachable earlier in life.
The Greatest Teacher
I now try to be more transparent about my own mistakes in an effort to help others at least not make the same ones. Maybe they’ll even make less mistakes altogether.
“Pass on what you have learned. Strength, mastery. But weakness, folly, failure also. Yes, failure most of all. The greatest teacher failure is.” (Yoda in The Last Jedi)
Yes, I have some expertise and experience I can use to teach others. My mistakes, however, will often be better teachers though.
For all of us, our greatest teacher is often our own failure. The failures of others can teach us too, though, if we let it. When we do, we get to receive the lesson without the baggage that comes along with making the mistake ourselves.
For Further Study
Consider the many examples of failure and folly in the Bible: Moses, David, Peter, etc. How can they be examples for learning in your own life? Also note how these same individuals give us examples we can learn from through strength and mastery too.