My friend Laurel and I were enjoying an Art Play Date. She was making a collage by first making papers from ink and scribbles. She was using rice paper to make different textures and had put too much ink on the page. I grabbed a couple pieces of paper to help soak up the extra ink, which is where I got this background. A mistake in putting too much ink on her page gave me the opportunity to be extemporaneous and turn that mistake into gold! Sweet!
When I read this quote I knew this piece of ink absorbed paper had to become the background for that text. A life spent making mistakes...who would ever want those words to be how we defined where we are today, and yet that is EXACTLY how great things begin. Sometimes the best work comes from huge mishaps, disastrous attempts and even bungled tests. It somehow has become the job of the mistake to take us to places we would otherwise never have traveled because we are too scared, too confined, or too confident in what we do to try something different. We have all lived through a global pandemic, who would have ever believed that was possible? And yet here we are in a new world, doing new things and working in different ways. Thank you pandemic for forcing us to change and find new ways to do things.
Why are we so resistant to try new things? That’s easy, fear. Plain and simple. It is human nature to avoid the unknown because of our flight or fight instinct. It is exhausting to always have to change, grow, or risk making mistakes. It can whittle down our self esteem or self image, and who wants that? And then a mistake happens, a glorious, fantastic, big whopper of a boo boo and we are surprised to see that the mistake is the best course forward. Who knew? Maybe mistakes are the gift that forces us out of ourselves and into an opportunity we never knew existed?
So today, give yourself the gift of making a big whopping mistake. Try that thing you’ve been avoiding because it makes you uncomfortable. Give it a go. It could be a disaster. It could flip or flop and do nothing. It could be what takes you through a door you would otherwise never have considered. You’ll never know unless you try, which basically is a life spent doing nothing. And who wants to live that life…give it a whirl!