“I hope that in this year to come, you make mistakes. Because if you are making mistakes, then you are making new things, trying new things, learning, living, pushing yourself, changing yourself, changing your world. You’re doing things you’ve never done before, and more importantly, you’re doing something.” – Neil Gaiman

Can you think of the last time you made a mistake?  Not a life or death mistake, but one that taught you something new.  One that gave you the opportunity to reflect and make changes in your way of thinking or doing something.  Or are you afraid to make mistakes?

When I go to painting classes, I always make at least one mistake.  We were always encouraged to embrace what you created, flaws and all.  I am still learning to paint, and I am still making mistakes, and I RARELY touch up my paintings when they are done.  There may be a splotch of paint here, or a crazy line there, but I’m CREATING, and I chalk it up to the learning process of painting.

I LOVE to learn.  I have always been curious, and I’m not afraid to make mistakes.  So I keep myself engaged by reading books (a friend’s declaration that she has the goal of reading one book a month got me inspired to do more), watching documentaries, and taking classes.  One of the things I admire most in my mentors is their breadth and depth of knowledge on a variety of topics.

Right now I am learning more about entrepreneurship, owning my own business, intellectual property, website design, and a whole host of things that go along with starting a business.  I told my life coach that I would make mistakes in the process, and she said no, you will learn a lot.  It is an area I have very little exposure to because I have always worked for a larger firm.  I am grateful that I have a lot of support and great resources to help me in this endeavor.

So where will your next mistake come from?  Or should I say learning?  Perhaps you want to play an instrument, learn about how the government works, or it could be as “simple” as being a better friend, family member or employer/employee.  If you reference the quote above, you need to leave your comfort zone, do things you have never done before.  Reject complacency.

Are you now thinking about what you want to learn about and improve upon?  The Ted talk below has valuable information on why we might NOT be improving in our areas of interest, and how we can change that, as well as environments to foster learning.  I hope you find it an inspiration to put your own plan of action together.  It could lead to “changing your world” and maybe even changing THE world.

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