Journaling Exercise: Lessons Learned

 #76 - Mannequin Artist

image by johnonolan


A life spent making mistakes is not only more honourable, but more useful than a life spent doing nothing.

– George Bernard Shaw


We’ve been conditioned to be afraid of mistakes. Ever since childhood, both in and out of school, we’ve been taught to avoid making mistakes so that we don’t have to suffer the consequences. Thus, we’ve been conditioned to create a bubble of safety around us. 

But no matter how strong this protective wrapping, mistakes are unavoidable. Whether intentional or unintentional, there are no doubt times or events in your life that you regret. Decisions you wish you could change, or results you wish had been different. 

The point here is not to obsess over mistakes, but rather to focus on what you learned from them. Regretting the past – whether you consider it your own fault, or someone else’s – achieves nothing. It will only ruin your present. But learning from your past, can improve not only the present, but also your future. 

Without mistakes, without risking failure, there can only be accidental success not deliberate success.

If you never fail, you are not trying hard enough at whatever it is that you want to achieve. 

For today’s journaling exercise, think about lessons you’ve learned from your previous mistakes. Think about the times you have taken risks or when the risks have been thrust upon you, when you stumbled or fell, when you pushed your self. Write about what you learned from these times. No doubt things looked bleak when you were going through it, but now look back at it with the advantage of hindsight. 

What did you learn? Perhaps you learned how you could have reacted differently, or done something different. Perhaps you learned whom to trust, and whom not to trust. Perhaps you learned what not do. 

No matter how tiny the lesson you learned, write it down in your journal. Read it. Consider it. Then ensure that you remember it for the future.

These lessons hold the key to your future, and to you fulfilling your potential.