Allowing Mistakes

In James Harmon’s book, Take My Advice, Harmon shares a letter written by Arthur Nersesian in which Nersesian writes, “Advice is important, but no amount of it will keep you from occasionally making a bad move.”  He explains that what will happen as we grow is that we will have good and bad luck, and that our ability to deal with and adapt to our good or bad luck is what will matter the most.  Relying on other’s advice won’t always help you because the advice that others have to offer comes from the luck they have experienced, and how they handled it.  Nersesian continues, “…recover after making a bad move.  Forgive yourself quickly, learn something from it, and move on. “  His two quotes combine to show that it is ok if you make a mistake, as long as you can approach your mistake in the right way.


We have all heard about the importance of learning from our mistakes, but what I like about Nersesian’s quotes is that he does not approach the world from a perfect point of view.  He accepts that there will be mistakes, and encourages us not to constantly worry about making mistakes.  For him, avoiding mistakes is not the important part of life, which is an idea that I resonate with.  From my own experience I know that if I strive to do great things I will reach a point where I am in new situations, and I may not always handle things the best way. There may be points where I do not know what I need to do or what is expected of me, and I may stumble from a lack of preparation.  If I adopt Nersesian’s point of view, I can be more relaxed heading into these situations, because when I make a mistake I will have a chance to understand why, and move on from it with new advice to offer others.  If I dwell on my mistake and beat myself up for not being perfect, then I will be stuck in the past, and I will be more hesitant in the future when new opportunities arise.

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