This is my favourite quotation; it was said by Victor Kiam, who was an American entrepreneur and also owned the New England Patriots at one point. The quotation just resonated with me the first time I came across it.
There have been many times in my life where I have both metaphorically and physically fallen on my face. Thankfully, more of those times have been metaphorical faceplants. Although it’s harder to bounce back from a metaphorical fall than a physical one, the personal growth is a lot more substantial, to say the least. Plus, it’s completely true that if you fall on your face, you’ve covered some distance in the direction you were going.
The essence of this quotation is that whenever you fail or make a mistake, you’re actually one stop closer to your end goal. Scarlett wrote a post a while back entitled ‘Learning to fail’ and it tackled this counterintuitive life tip. It sounds ridiculous that you have to fail to move forward in life, but there’s a lot of merit in this concept.
I’ll stop being abstract now because I’m starting to confuse even myself!
Up until I left for university in 2012, my parents never let me make my own mistakes. Don’t get me wrong, I definitely still made mistakes, but when it came down to the important stuff (however small), I was always expected to follow the advice of my parents. They didn’t want me to make the same mistakes they made, and so, wanted me to learn from their mistakes. When it came time for me to leave home and live on my own, I felt fully equipped for life, having learned what not to do. The trouble was, when I actually left home and lived on my own, I was tripping on my face left, right, and centre. I found that the best way for me to learn is to make my own mistakes and live through the consequences. The mistakes I made weren’t obvious ones, even to me, and they were mistakes that drew out for a long time.
The biggest mistake I made was not listening to what I wanted to do with my life. I’d been primed since childhood to set foot on the path that would have led me to a well-paying job and was taught how to survive to get to the end. I was always told that a well-paying job leads to a good life and a big house and being able to afford everything I want. So when I got to uni and ventured out onto the path to law school, I didn’t realise why I was tripping and falling on my face everyday. I only just discovered the clearing and found my footing a few weeks ago. I discovered that my true calling lies in marketing and design.
Having said that, I don’t regret studying law for a second. It’s a mistake that has taught me many valuable skills, which include looking at things objectively and analytically, and it’s a mistake that led me to this realisation that I should be doing marketing and design instead of doing law. I wouldn’t have learned these skills from studying any other subject, and I might not have been able to tap into a type of creativity I always thought I lacked.
Leicester Law is one of the best mistakes I’ve made. Studying at Leicester was just one huge faceplant but now I’m 165cm further along my new path and I can get up and walk steadily onwards.