Everyone makes mistakes — they are simply unavoidable in our daily lives. It is what you do with those errors afterward that shapes you, teaches you, and helps you grow.
There is nothing more prudent and resourceful to do with an error than to reshape it to be used as a launchpad toward future successes. Just as muscles are built and made stronger by fibrous micro-tears that heal over time, so too are we made stronger and wiser by the learnings we extract from each mistake we make.
Michael F. Kay supplies Forbes with his “favorite money mistakes” — mistakes that he believes prove themselves to be exceptional teachers in preventing future monetary slip-ups. By learning these principles early on, you’ll extract the gold from the mishap.
One idea is picking a stock — perhaps a random one — or one that sounds appealing to you based on predicates other than extensive research and mastery. Trusting a small amount of money in an atypical stock will demonstrate the unpredictability and riskiness of the market, making you feel more confident in the control you do have when it comes to big decisions. If you’re unfamiliar with the market overall, this practice will give you a familiarity with voting rights and authority as a shareholder on a small scale. Think of it as playing in the minor leagues before stepping up to the pro tier.
A second suggestion is to engage in the simplicity of overspending on a small scale. Jump in to a gym membership without fully understanding the cancellation fee. Buy a small tech service without knowing the hidden costs applied for underusing or overusing the product. When you discover the finer print, it’ll be better etched into your mind. You’ll think twice in the future when you find yourself in a similar, but much more critical situation. By already learning this lesson, you are infinitely less likely to make the same mistake again.
Take some of these quotations as inspirational reminders. Don’t be afraid to take risks, or make mistakes, be sure to take smart risks and examine your mistakes for salvageable lessons.
Here are three of my favorite quotes about failing gracefully:
“An investment in knowledge pays the best interest.” – Benjamin Franklin
“I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work” – Thomas Edison
“Success is walking from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm” – Winston Churchill