This time last year, I posted Neil Gaiman’s well-known quote about mistakes, and it’s something that still resonates so deeply with me.
If you haven’t heard his quote, here’s the background: On December 31, 2011, Gaiman (one of my favourite writers) posted this thought-provoking New Year’s Wish in his online journal:
“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.
So that’s my wish for you, and all of us, and my wish for myself. Make New Mistakes. Make glorious, amazing mistakes. Make mistakes nobody’s ever made before. Don’t freeze, don’t stop, don’t worry that it isn’t good enough, or it isn’t perfect, whatever it is: art, or love, or work or family or life.
Whatever it is you’re scared of doing, Do it.
Make your mistakes, next year and forever.”
Gaiman’s post shocked some people, angered and confused others. Many folks — me, for one — ❤️loved ❤️ it!
Because many of life’s most wondrous inventions and changes come from happy accidents and “mistakes”.
Because much of one’s greatest personal growth comes from so-called mistakes.
And because some mistakes are just blessings in disguise (and I know there is a Zen koan about this!!).
Yet some folks are afraid of of failing, of being judged, of being different, of not being perfect, and as a result they may take no risks… they may stay in a safe little bubble. But often the fear of all that is more profound that the actual “mistake”, the actual “failure”.
And that’s okay. I will not judge. I will hold space for each of us to step into their glorious possibilities.
For me, no. That’s not the life I choose. I say, bring it on! I’ll give this crazy life 100% and if I stumble and fall, I’ll get up and try it again and again until I get it right. Or not! But I’ll try! I accept and embrace my divine imperfection. That’s what makes me human. That’s what gives my life meaning.