All the Small Things: Why Every Mistake Matters

Happy Hump Day! As summer draws to it’s inevitable end, most of us take this time to really think about what productive thing we actually did over the 3 months without school. Besides the crappy summer nanny job and the occasional weekend trip down the shore, not many people have much to show for the long summer break. But does it really matter?

The days seem longer when you’re young, and it’s easy to waste time because you know you have a lot of it. Until you don’t. Now is not the time to waste doing pointless, temporary pleasures, now is the time to discover what you have and what you can do with it. That’s right, now is the time to make mistakes.


When people hear motivational speakers and writers like me give permission to make mistakes, many times it translates as a get out of jail free card to make reckless and destructive decisions void of all consequences. This is not only unwise but also incredibly harmful; mistakes should be made into lessons, not lost. Every mistake counts when you’re young. but not for the reasons you might think. Here’s my thoughts:

Mistakes Show You Who You Are

Nobody’s perfect. In fact, everyone in this life is ridiculously imperfect it’s almost scary. Being young has many advantages, one being the ability to put the blame on your fleeting adolescence. Many young people are blissfully unaware of our own shortcomings, blaming our mishaps and mistakes on being young, inexperienced, or unaware. Mistakes don’t just show us the truth about life, they also show us the truth about ourselves. We make certain mistakes because we are prone to certain vices, like pride, envy, laziness, or vanity. Mistakes tell us what’s wrong with us clearer than any other form of teaching. It’s best we take advantage of them while we’re young.

Question mark

Mistakes Show You Who You Aren’t

Some mistakes end in loss, others in lessons. When you try and fail, or make a wrong turn, the lesson isn’t so much what you did as much as what you didn’t do. Who you aren’t is part of who you are, and the more you discover the person that isn’t you, you get closer to finding the person who is. For example, going to college for a degree you later decide you never want to use, isn’t so much a reflection of you, but of who you used to be. Now that you’ve discovered that profession wasn’t for you, you can focus on finding the career that suites you best. Was getting that degree a mistake? Thousands of dollars in student loan debt may say yes, but thank god you made it, because you’re now one step closer to you. Mistakes are part of who we are, and who we aren’t.

It Was Never Random

Mistakes often get the unfair reputation if being random. Yes, while some things will happen that we will never get answers to, that doesn’t make events random, just a mystery. Mistakes can never be random because they make you who you were made to be, and you are not random. They are accidental circumstances that lead to people, but no accidental people. When you discover what you are supposed to do in this world, you realize the mistakes were never random.



Mistakes prove to the world that we are messy, complex, imperfect, perfectly designed human beings. Even as you enter your teen and young adults years, it seems like being young can and will go on forever, but it doesn’t. This is not written to give you despair it’s written to give you perspective. Mistakes are the bricks that pave the road to Destination Discovery. Population: You.


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