When I saw this picture on my camera roll, I cracked up laughing. It’s obviously not because it’s a hilarious picture. It’s because of the backstory. It was (finally) closing day on our new house. We met Myla & Charles at Scott’s office to sign all the papers in between clients and before we all rushed off our separate ways, I wanted to grab a photo. I’m relatively practiced at the reverse-camera-selfie. But that day, I was on the struggle bus.
I couldn’t get us all in to save my life.
The hilarious string of images currently on my camera roll includes a few different angles of each of us with no head. At first I was completely missing. Then Scott had no hair. Next Charles was on the loose. Myla actually had a pretty good photoshoot, come to think of it. She was perfectly centered in every one. The collective laughter we shared while trying to capture this image was a much-needed comedic break from the stress and intensity of the weeks leading up to that moment.
But by the end of it, they were done.
They were convinced we’d gotten the best pic possible and it was time to turn it in. But I pleaded for one more try. I’d made enough mistakes, I was convinced this last one would be the money shot.
And, of course, it was.
I saw a quote the other day that said, “I’ve learned so much from my mistakes that I’m thinking of making a few more.” It was immediately followed by another one: “Falling down is an accident, staying down is a choice.” While my little story above is obviously on the smallest scale of mistakes and learning from them, it’s a simple example of the same lesson.
We all make mistakes.
Just like a baby learning to walk. At first she falls down when she tries stand alone. Although she might feel defeated and even hurt, it doesn’t keep her from getting up to try again. She eventually figures out how to cruise by holding on to the furniture. It turns out that the falling down taught her to look for the furniture. Staying down was never an option. Trying again, with the furniture is was helps her learn to cruise. Cruising is such a fun and important step toward independently walking. Soon she’ll be running wildly all over the place, with no fear of falling.
If you’re trying to do anything of value, you will make mistakes.
Don’t hold back from trying something you’re unsure of, just to avoid the pain. Of course, if it doesn’t work, you might feel hurt and defeated. But it’s precisely because of the pain that you’ll remember the lesson and learn a new, better way. Falling down is an accident. Staying down is your choice.
They are the holy grail of learning.
Go make a few more.
to more love,