Learning From Mistakes

Binaya Ghimire

In our everyday life, we make mistakes of different kinds. We make a stupid mistake such as spilling tea on your friend’s T-shirt; simple mistake such as driving on one-way because you were talking on phone; avoidable mistake such as missing a deadline; or unavoidable mistake such as failing to meet the sales target.
Some mistakes are accidental, they just happen. We can avoid some mistakes if we are more careful. Some mistakes are complicated, we cannot avoid them, however, the next time we are doing the same thing or attempting new thing, we can learn from the mistake we committed on our previous attempt.
Every time we make a mistake, we can learn new things. Learning from our mistake is the first step towards the path of success. If we accept our mistakes, we will develop self-esteem, become more courageous, and have an ability to face challenges.
Happiness matters in life. Whatever we do we are doing it for the sake of happiness. Therefore, don’t run after success, don’t be afraid of failure. Success may not always give you happiness and failure always does not mean unhappiness. Actually, we can learn many things from our mistakes. It’s okay to fail. Failure is the first step towards the path of success. Become an able person and success will follow you like a shadow.
There are many learning theories. Operant Conditioning or Instrumental Conditioning is a learning theory that is associated with learning from mistakes. It was propounded by American psychologist Edward Lee Thorndike (1874 – 1949) and developed by another American psychologist B. F. Skinner (1904 –1990). In a classic experiment, Thorndike placed a cat in a box with one opening.
The door would open when a certain area of the box was pressed. The cat runs vigorously here and there, and in the process, it presses the area of the box that opens the door. The cat is again placed inside the box. It tries to remember how the door was opened the last time. After a while, it finds the secret. With each experiment, cat unlocks the door faster because it has learned from its previous attempt.
Operant means how animals (including man) respond to a certain situation. Operant Conditioning deals with learning about the consequences of actions in response to the environment. Human beings learn like Thorndike’s cat in the experiment. Every day they commit mistakes, and the next time when they are doing the same thing, they will try to avoid the mistake they made in the previous attempt. The natural consequences of previous actions will teach a man and woman to do things differently. He/she will avoid negative actions and repeat positive actions.
As the old saying goes to err is human, mistakes are parts of our life. There is nothing wrong with committing mistakes when they are unintentional. However, if we don’t admit our mistakes and blame others (mortal and immortals), there might be something wrong in our perception and behaviour. We will never learn a lesson, when we don’t admit our mistakes.

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