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What do you want to celebrate? Please, not mistakes!

There may be some good arguments for celebrating mistakes, but the fact that they lead on occasion to good outcomes is not one of them.

We all know delightful people who were born as a result of unplanned pregnancies. We can cheer and celebrate these people, (who are sometimes called mistakes), but it’s a whole other – illogical – step to say let’s stop planning pregnancies.

The occasional good dictator is not an argument against democracy, and doesn’t mean we should start celebrating military coups because now and again we’ll be blessed with another good dictator.

We can celebrate good outcomes because they are good outcomes, remaining agnostic as to how they arose. Mistakes are so-called and so-identified because they departed from what you were trying to do. That’s enough to give them a thumbs-down or at a minimum let them pass by unremarked.

‘Getting things right’ is how most of life runs smoothly enough, and if it’s a more unusual occasion it’s worth noticing, celebrating and even analysing for clues as to how to do it again or to transfer our learning to similar cases.

 

 

Celebrate mistakes

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