Posted by: Omar C. Garcia | November 26, 2011

Make New Mistakes

In a letter written by Benjamin Franklin to French scientist Jean-Baptiste Le Roy, Franklin coined the phrase, “In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.” Well, perhaps we can add one more certainty to Franklin’s famous list — mistakes. Making mistakes is part of the human condition. We all make mistakes. Sometimes we make the same mistakes over and over again, a clear indication that we have not learned from our mistakes. Someone defined insanity as doing the same things over and over again and expecting different results. By that definition it’s probably safe to say that most of us have lapsed into insanity at one time or another. Since we’re going to make mistakes anyway, we should at least make it our aim to make new mistakes. New mistakes are an indication that we have the courage to take chances, embrace risk, and try new things.

Although I don’t particularly enjoy making mistakes, I don’t mind making them. There is no shame in making mistakes, especially new ones. The challenge is not to avoid mistakes but to learn from them. Mistakes are opportunities. As with defeats and failures, mistakes should cause us to evaluate. One way to learn from our mistakes is by doing an autopsy — a postmortem examination to try to learn what went wrong and why. And then, we must be careful that we do not lose heart or allow our mistakes to distance us from the goal or dream we are pursuing. We must keep going. One good thing about mistakes is that they are like road signs that point us in a new direction or toward a new way of doing things. So, don’t keep making the same mistakes over and over again. Determine to make new mistakes, big and bold mistakes, the kind of mistakes that show you are still in the game.


  1. Dear Omar,

    I love this particular post! One of the many gifts of God is human liberty and free moral agency. Freedom to choose can produce full-blown mistakes but many times also brings us into the realm of the law of unintended consequences. But within such difficulties lie the ability to problem solve, surmount challenges and also experience the grace and love of God! This is how we grow and mature in a healthy manner! smile


  2. Thank you Omar –
    I appreciate this blog so much. It reminds me of my deceased dad who would have celebrated his 86th birthday this week. He too always taught me that mistakes are good because we have the opportunity to learn from them if we choose to do so. Mistakes are humbling which is also a good thing. As you said so well – mistakes are a fact of life but how we respond to them is what makes the difference. In addition how we respond to others mistakes reflects our character. I hope to try harder to extend the same grace and acceptance towards others when they make mistakes that I would like expressed towards me when I mess up.


    • Very good word, Sandy. Thanks for sharing.

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