A story about a famous research scientist, who had made several very important medical breakthroughs was once carried in academicstips.org. A newspaper reporter who interviewed him asked him why he was able to do so much more creative things than the average person and what made him unique from others?
He responded that it all began with an experience he had with his mum when he was just a child. According to him, he had been trying to remove a bottle of milk from the refrigerator when he lost his grip on the slippery bottle and it fell, spilling its contents all over the kitchen floor—a veritable sea of milk!
When his mother came into the kitchen, instead of yelling at him or probably punish him, she said, “Robert, what a great and wonderful mess you have made! I have rarely seen such a huge puddle of milk. Well, the damage has already been done. Would you like to get down and play in the milk for a few minutes before we clean it up?”
Indeed, he did. After a few minutes, his mother said, “You know, Robert, whenever you make a mess like this, eventually you have to clean it up and restore everything to its proper order. So, how would you like to do that? We could use a sponge, a towel, or a mop. Which do you prefer?” Robert chose the sponge and together they cleaned up the spilled milk.
His mother said to him “You know, what we have here is a failed experiment on how to effectively carry a big milk bottle with two tiny hands. Let’s go out in the back yard and fill the bottle with water and see if you can discover a way to carry it without dropping it”.
The little boy learned that if he grasped the bottle at the top near the lip with both hands, he could carry it without dropping it. It was a great lesson indeed!
This renowned scientist then remarked that it was at that moment that he knew he didn’t need to be afraid to make mistakes. Rather, he realised that mistakes were just opportunities for learning something new, which is, after all, what scientific experiments are all about. Even if the experiment “doesn’t work,” we usually learn something valuable from it.
So go out there and discover something new. Go the extra mile in your career, your relationship, businesses and education. Take that calculated risk, make that mistake and learn to be better!