“But we all make mistakes. It’s how we fix them that makes us who we are.”
― Jessica Sorensen
Recently I was playing a point-click adventure game: The Longest Journey.
I am not into gaming and stuff, usually.
But this game had: Brilliant Puzzles, deep stories and an element of spirituality.
My kinda game.
A long one, though. Over 50 hours of game play, over 13 chapters.
I was playing, on a particular level and the story was unfolding in a complete mesmerizing manner.
And then I realized I have committed a mistake.
I have forgotten to solve a piece of puzzle and now I can’t go back to that element and without solving that puzzle, the game wouldn’t go ahead. Wouldn’t move forward.
I was stuck.
I had two choices in front of me:
1) I had a auto-saved game. But a few chapters back. That would mean facing the mistake I did.
That would mean taking a step back and probably correcting my mistake. Or at least, to learn how to not forget puzzles.
But it would take efforts. More than that, it would have me concurring with my own self that yes, I did a mistake. It would take that ego to come crashing down and accept . And I gotta accept it, take a step back, correct it and then move forward again. And start afresh.
2) I had a shortcut which was this huge internet. I could probably download the save game file from some random site. Tweak things here and there. Alter few registries. Cut, copy and paste. And, I’ll be done.
That would be easy. I wouldn’t have to accept my mistakes. I can just go on without even realizing I did committed the mistake in first place. No badge of that dishonor on me.
And most importantly, it will save me efforts. Now, who will flip through all the past chapters and stuff. Learn and realize mistakes: Too old school, bro.
I had the choice.
I had the choice to decide.
I chose the 2nd option.
I went straight to the internet for save files.
Downloaded few alien files. Experimented around. Searched for the most easily available shortcut. Changed few names and tweaked few registries.
Cut, copy, paste and voila.
But this game had other plans for me.
I put the files. I restarted and I realized that these files have not registered in the game.
That was not the most terrible part however.
Due to use of my this shortcut, all the previous load files too were deleted.
Over 20 hours of game-play gone. Poof.
I had to restart now.
Not from few chapters behind.
But from the start.
From the God-dammit, cursed start.
But, I am glad, it happened. No really.
I learnt such a valuable lesson in all this.
Now, I know that this instance was just a game but think about it, don’t we approach our mistakes in real life in similar fashion?
We have the choice of facing our mistakes. We have the choice of thinking why, what and how of our falter.
We have the chance to take a step back and think and try to correct that mistake and learn from it in the way.
From the little penance like this, we add a valuable gem of learning in our life. We’ll always remember it.
And, most probably if we learnt good, we’ll never repeat the same mistake. Never in the same fashion at least. We’ve a chance to grow. We’ve a chance to redeem ourselves.
But, there is always a but. Instead, most of the times, we choose to run away from the mistake. Blaming every cursed thing. Finding shortcuts to avoid facing the mistake. Doing all it takes, just to make sure that the big fat ego is satisfied. Of course, we can’t accept we faltered. Of course, how can we take a step back? That would be so not satisfying, to our master: The ego. Oh, and the badge of dishonor.
So we decide to just run away. Or blame people. Or find reasons. Or find shortcuts that will cover everything up. And it will be like we never faltered.
And in most cases, if not all, what happened with me in the game will happen to you.
In order to cover up that one small mistake, to hide it, to not accept it; you might just screw up everything else as well. Destroying the harmony and balance. The peace.
You might just destroy everything that was in order in your life. Just to cover and hide and run from a mistake.
Just accept it. You screwed up. It’s OK to screw up. We all do. The greatest of minds have and they’ll continue to. It’s OK.
Learn from it. Take lessons. Take a step back and try to correct it. In some form or another. If that is not possible. Just learn from it. That should fulfill the purpose. But face. Don’t run away. Don’t find shortcuts. Don’t risk your entire life to cover up for just one mistake.
We all are humans. Humans make mistakes. Humans make bad decisions. Humans do it all. The important thing is to learn from them and outgrow yourself next time. Don’t repeat the same mistakes. Make new ones. Countless new ones. But not the same.
Mistakes always teach us. They are meant to be experiences through which we discover ourselves more and they constantly remind us of our flaws and helps us to work on them.
Embrace mistakes. More importantly, embrace all the learning they bring forth. Might pain a bit. Might take efforts too. But it is better than chaos in your entire life.
One such incident can destroy it all.
Now go make some mistakes and have fun. Learn something new. Fly. Live. Breathe.
Excuse me, now. I have to start with the game again.
Would love to hear your feedback. Tell me how you deal with mistakes? Do you remember any moment when because of you not accepting or facing a mistake you faced serious consequences? Let me know via comments.
Part of the series- ‘Gems of Minimalism’