A few summers ago while I was working at the greenhouse I had a fifteen-minute conversation with an older customer go from “Can you tell me where the petunias are?” to “Young man, do you want to know a secret to life?” He continued “The secret to life is that you gotta learn from your mistakes. But these days people don’t wanna admit that they’ve made mistakes, so no one’s learning!”
I’ve thought about these words often in the last few years and have come to really appreciate his wisdom. Just recently I decided to look back on some of the (many) mistakes I’ve made over the years and figured out which ones I’ve learned from (and which ones I haven’t). To try to inspire you to admit your mistakes so you can learn from them, I present to you a list of twenty one things I’ve learned in the last twenty one years from mistakes I’ve made (most of which are stereotypical and cheesy, I know).
1. Becoming vulnerable and asking for help aren’t signs of weakness
2. Work out every once in a while
3. Don’t judge a person based on their appearances or lifestyle
4. Don’t skip prayer, even/especially in times of spiritual dryness
5. If you feel like you have to impress people to fit in with them, they’re not worth impressing
6. Listen to others and actually care about what they have to say even if you don’t agree with them
7. Don’t try to have an important conversation with someone when you’re angry with them
8. Don’t throw a watermelon at your sister
9. Don’t back out from doing something you know is good just because it’s going to take some courage
10. If a flag goes off in your mind saying “It’s not worth it”, it’s not worth it.
11. Don’t compare yourself to others; you’ll either become prideful or envious
12. Think before you speak/comment/text
13. Don’t get cocky
14. People get annoyed when you quote an entire movie while it’s playing
15. When you can’t understand what a person said, smiling and nodding isn’t always the best response
16. Don’t waste time watching TV and playing video games
17. Saying “just kidding” all the time doesn’t make up for constantly making fun of someone
18. You are not better than anyone else
19. Acknowledge every day God’s grace and blessings working in your life
20. Don’t say something about someone that you wouldn’t say to their face
21. Admit mistakes when you’ve made them and learn from them!
22. Don’t write blog posts when you should be studying Latin (still working on this one)