The boy was just two years old. Quite naughty and mischievous. Always
wanted to do things – big things far above the capacity of a two year old – by himself.
One day…the boy was trying to take out a large bottle of milk from the refrigerator. He lost his grip on the slippery bottle due to the presence of water droplets around it. The bottle fell, spilling its contents all over the floor – averitable sea of milk!
His mother came into the kitchen. Instead of yelling at him, giving him a lecture or punishing him, she simply said, “my son, I have rarely seen such a huge puddle of milk. Well, the damage has already been done. Would you like to get down and play in the milk for a few minutes before we clean it up?”.
“Yes, I would like to”, replied the boy.
After a few minutes, his mother said, “You know, whenever you make a mess like this, you have to clean it up and restore everything to proper order. So, how would you like to do that? We could use a sponge, a towel, or a mop. Which do you prefer?”
The boy chose the sponge and together they cleaned up the mess. His mother then said, “You know, what we have here is a failed experiment in how to effectively carry a big milk bottle with two tiny hands. Let’s go out into the back yard, fill a bottle with water and see if you can find a way to carry it without dropping it”.
Soon, the boy learned that if he grasped the bottle at the top, near the lip with both hands, he could carry it firmly. What a wonderful lesson! The boy would later get to understand that he didn’t need to be afraid if he made mistakes. Instead, he learned that mistakes were just opportunities for learning something new. This is what an experiment is all about! Even if the experiment ‘doesn’t work’, there’s always something valuable to learn from it.
The two year old grew up to become an eminent scientist and made several important break throughs by his notable inventions. That incident and the lesson he learnt that day paved the way for all his future successes.
Make mistakes, you learn from them! But ensure that you never repeat the mistake! Develop success from failures.