It's time to indulge my latest obsession: learning from mistakes. (As I am currently transitioning from a Windows computer to a Mac, I'm getting plenty of opportunity to experience it myself.) While surfing the web I found two interesting articles on the subject.
First, here's a recent article from LiveScience that discusses research on what part of the brain is used when we learn from mistakes. According to research at the University of Exeter, in the UK, test subjects' lower temporal brain exhibited heightened activity--within 0.1 seconds--when the subjects saw information that contradicted a choice they had made.
And here is a December 2005 interview from ExpressIndia with Ela Gandhi (click here for an audio interview), one of the descendents of Mahatma Gandhi, wherein she paints a fascinating picture of him becoming the Mahatma by stumbling, then seeking to learn:
Though trying to follow in the footsteps of her grandfather, she sometimes falters. ‘‘I try my level best to be like Mahatma Gandhi. But, everytime I don’t succeed in following the Gandhian principles.’’
Then, she contemplates what went wrong and makes changes accordingly. ‘‘And that’s how I regain the Gandhian pathway. After all, making postive changes in yourself is one of the Gandhian principles.’’ Even the Mahatma was ‘born’ in a similar way. ‘‘You must know my grandfather was not born a ‘Mahatma’. Like us, he also committed mistakes. But he transformed himself, by learning from his mistakes. A practice not followed by many.’’
So, reflect on your mistakes, improve on them, and get a little bit closer to greatness.
(Photo: "Gandhi Ji" by vinish via stock.xchng)
mistakes failure learning