Mistakes or Lessons?

Mistake: noun, an action or judgment that is misguided or wrong.

Lesson: noun, an amount of teaching given at one time; a period of learning or teaching. 

The word mistake has such a negative connotation, at least in my head, and the word lesson has perhaps not a positive connotation but at least it’s not a negative one. 

As my time of being a student is coming to a close (yes while studying for the bar I am still using my student discount hello) I’ve been reminiscing on the choices I’ve made and if I have any regrets. There have been some that I don’t think I would have made and there are some that I know I would need to make again. Yeah, they would still hurt me or embarrass me but I learned important lessons from them. 

So are they mistakes or are the lessons?

I’ve come to believe that lessons are the product of mistakes, not all mistakes however. Lessons come after a mistake has been made, when you focus on what happened and why. When you learn from a mistake it becomes a lesson. Which for me, while it’s still a mistake, it’s not so horrible. 

The mistakes that are made when I either can’t learn from it or I know I was being blind making the choices that lead to it, those are mistakes that aren’t lessons. Those are the negative mistakes. I hate these. These are the mistakes that I think about days, weeks, months later. 

When a mistake is made and I refuse to learn from it I’d say that’s two mistakes and no lessons and all around bad bad bad. 

So not all mistakes are lessons, but all lessons are mistakes. Yep, I just dropped some logic on you. That’s thanks to law school, which I don’t count as a mistake by the way. 

So answer the question: Mistake or Lesson? 

P.S. There are two giveaways going on right now! One for ad space here on The Duchess of Plumewood and the second on Beyond the Black Suit


  • Rachel Murphree

    Lesson, lesson all the way. One of my favorite quotes from James Joyce’s Ulysses is “A man of genius makes no mistakes. His errors are volitional and are the portals of discovery.. “

    -Rachel @ With Love, Rachel

  • http://www.iris-hanlin.com/ A Country Girl’s Daybook

    I think a person can learn something from every single experience, mistake, failure, success, etc… said person just has to be open to accepting it.

    Iris Country Girl’s Daybook: Jesus, Photography, Fashion, & Food