In fall 1993, I started my first year of law school at Indiana University – Indianapolis. By the end of the first semester, I had come to the realization I disliked everything about studying the law. The next thing you know, I was waiting tables and looking for a job.
Personally, the theme is similar. During the years, I’ve had a handful of minor chronic ailments (e.g. – seasonal allergies) and tried numerous fixes for each one (I am now in my second year of allergy shots). My wife will be quick to point out I’ve had more than a few personal trainers, participated in multiple athletic events (need a good laugh – ask me about a triathlon in Brown County), visited more doctors than pharmaceutical sales reps and will probably never again use the camping equipment in the garage.
I think it’s easy to look at all of this and say, “This guy is nuts,” or “How many mistakes can one person make?” I’ll be the first to admit that at times, it can seem like I’m all over the place. However, during the past five years, I have decided to look at my approach in a different light.
It’s called trial and error, and it’s the only way I grow.
I wish I would have known prior to taking out a student loan, buying the books and enrolling at IU that I would hate law school. It would have been nice to know I don’t have the patience to set up a tent prior to purchasing all of that camping equipment.
Unfortunately, in the U.S., we have another term for “trial and error” – we call this process a “mistake,” and most people find it completely unacceptable.
Trial and error is part of life. I can’t guarantee you’ll be rich or live in a big house. But one thing I can guarantee with 100 percent certainty is you will make mistakes – lots of them.
The question is – how will you respond to each of these mistakes? You have one of three choices. You can hang your head and say, “I am a failure.” You can ignore it and experience trial and error multiple times (there’s a chance that on multiple occasions, I’ve gotten to work and realized my phone is still at home) or you can recognize the error and learn from it.
As with most things in life, the solution is simple. All you need to do is execute.