Being Wrong Is Not A Bad Thing, It’s A Good Thing

Legends are not defined by their successes. They are defined by how they bounce back from their failures.

Last week I wrote about how to take the sting out of failure. Today, I want to share with you snipet of a speech on success and how failure drives it. It all starts with mistakes, we’re taught in school (this needs to change) that giving wrong answers and making mistakes is bad. And it continues on to our jobs and our daily lives, society as a whole would rather never make mistakes than to make them.

Mistakes, they’re part of life. No one is immune to them. We all make them, and we must make them if we’re to evolve. Below is Chris Bosh, retired NBA player and newly appointed Hall of Famer, talking about what he learned from the late Kobe Bryant about success:

There are no mistakes, only lessons. Growth is a process of trial and error.

Everyone sees and celebrates success, but most nobody cares to know about the mistakes and failures that preceded it. Being wrong is not a bad thing like they teach you in school, it is an opportunity to learn something. Every mistake you make is a learning experience. They don’t make you less capable. But it’s how you correct them or learn from them that defines you.

In business, mistakes are are as common as the sun setting everyday. Especially if you’re doing something new. Innovation is messy; it’s the opposite of stable and predictable. I’ve been part of, and started projects, that were ahead of their time. Many mistakes were made, these mistakes informed what we did next and what we stopped doing. It’s not for everyone, and the way forward is by experimenting, making mistakes, learning from them and iterating.

The key to progress was learning as fast as possible from the mistakes, else we lost time and money doing the same thing over and over again. And you know that quote by Albert Einstein, “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”

To innovate you have to try more stuff, and you have to learn fast. Why? Because innovation and failure are inseparable twins. The same goes with doing anything that’s really hard, mistakes will be made and you may fail a few times before you eventually find a way forward.

Remember, there are no mistakes; only lessons. Growth is a process of trial and error.


Bottom line: You’re either getting better, or getting worse; no one stays the same. Your mistakes don’t define who you are. It’s what you do after you have made the mistakes that makes all the difference.

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