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Monday, September 16, 2013


Throughout life's journey, everyone is always afraid of making mistakes.  I am a nasty culprit of this statement; why am I and so many other people so afraid of messing up?  It has been drilled into the heads of many that mistakes are learning tools; "You will learn from your mistakes."  Even knowing this and seeing examples of the learning process in action; people, including myself, are still afraid of doing something wrong.  When headed towards a goal it's almost impossible to achieve it without doing a few things wrong in the process.  Most of the time, even when something is done incorrectly, the objective is still met; it just took longer than expected because the mistakes had to be gone back to and done the right way.  Now you are even more prepared because not only do you know the right things to do, but you also know the wrong things to do.  Mistakes are part of life, so why are they outcasted?  If I could learn to accept the fact that making mistakes is inevitable, maybe reaching my goal of going to Stanford next fall to study civil engineering would stop making me feel sick with stress every time I think about it.  There are thousands of alternatives to explore that could possibly make me just as happy as I would be studing at Stanford.  I am determined to find a way to conquer my fear of making mistakes by the end of this course, and possibly figuring out why so many people are afraid to make mistakes as well when it is impossible not to learn from them.  The people already getting involved with creating collaborative working groups are my models; big shout out to Lisa Malins.  She doesn't let the fear of striking out keep her from playing the game.  I hope to learn from her fearlessness and hopefully use her as a tool to figure out how to answer my big question.


  1. Hey, thanks for the shout out! I just stumbled upon this right now :)

    I actually want to tell you a story. It was about this time during sophomore year when my hiccups started getting bad enough to interfere with my life. I didn't have the energy to do everything anymore, so I slowly gave up all the things I loved doing in favor of perfectionism in school. Since I had to devote more time to homework, I missed a lot of opportunities-- I could have accepted invitations to hang out with friends, I could have volunteered, I could have been in the spring play-- but I didn't, because I was wallowing at home with my homework. I often wondered what would have happened if I took those opportunities, but the possibilities had collapsed. There was no retrieving them. As I was waiting for a doctor to cure me and give me my life back, I unwittingly let my life slip away.

    It took me two years, but I finally accepted that I can't keep waiting for my hiccups to disappear in order to start living again. I have to live now. I don't want to sit here watching possibilities collapse. Instead of wondering, "what would happen if...?", I want to do it and find out, even if it turns out badly. I guess I'm not afraid of making mistakes because I'm more afraid of not doing anything.

    I'm glad I could be an inspiration, and I'd like to share Randall Munroe's words that inspired me: "Take wrong turns. Talk to strangers. Open unmarked doors. And if you see a group of people in a field, go find out what they're doing. Do things without always knowing how they'll turn out. And remember that you are always making up the future as you go."

    1. Lisa,
      Thank you so much for these words. I have been trying to talk to more people that aren't afraid to try new things and put themselves out there to hear what they have to say. I am so glad that you pointed this quote out to me. As I was reading it, one of the people that I met stood out to me. She is a costume designer at Arizona State University and I have actually had the chance to become really good friends with her. She is definitely the kind of person to question random people standing in a field. She moved here from Turkey in grade school and rather than fearing the transition to a new place, she embraced it. The advice that Kurt Vonnegut gave the Xavier High School class in his letter perfectly describes how she lives every day.

      On a different note, how did you create a link in your comment? I tried to provide a link to Kurt Vonnegut's letter, but could not figure it out.

      I really appreciate you sharing your story. Hopefully by hearing different perspectives from people, I can figure out a legitimate answer on how to conquer the fear messing up.

    2. Wow, that's awesome that you're talking to people about your big question! And yes, I did make a link. It's pretty easy with HTML. For example, here's the code I used for the link above: <a href="">HTML</a>

      When you're writing posts in Blogger, you have the option of highlight-and-click formatting in the "Compose" editor, which writes the HTML code for you. However, on the Internet you don't always have that luxury, especially in comment forms. That's why (in my humble opinion) everyone should at least learn how to make a link, even if they don't learn any other HTML. So I'm glad you asked! I know you're into engineering, so you especially might find computer coding useful. If you do want to learn code, I recommend Codecademy for learning and w3schools for reference.

      And Melissa, I have faith in you. With all the passion you've put into your big question, I know you'll find your answer :)