Sunday 22 June 2014

Progress comes with making mistakes by Yvelyn Koh

Blunders are not only inevitable; they are also essential to innovative thinking because they point the way for other explorers. Mistakes arise from thoughtful, meticulous experimentation based on bold ideas — the kind of ideas that can lead to major breakthroughs.

In science:The 19th century physicist William Thomson, later known as Lord Kelvin, made a brilliant blunder when he calculated that the Earth was less than 100 million years old — about 50 times younger than the age deduced from modern radiometric measurements. However, the effort remains central to the history of knowledge because it applied real science — the laws of physics — to what had long been a subject of vague speculation.
Kelvin’s insights helped to launch a fruitful dialogue between geologists and physicists — a dialogue that eventually resolved even problems related to the length of time needed for Darwin’s theory of evolution to operate. And the oversight that warped Kelvin’s estimate — the possibility that fluid motion could efficiently transport heat within the Earth’s interior — turned out to be critical to understanding plate tectonics and continental drift.

In business: Tom Watson, Jr, who led IBM through decades of strong growth, was known for having supported brilliant blunders. As he put it: “We should have the courage to take risks when they are thoughtful risks … We must forgive mistakes which have been made because someone was trying to act aggressively in the company’s interest.”

I think that it is totally fine to make mistakes as long as we learn from it and try not to repeat the same mistake again. The first mistake is a blunder, but if you repeated it again, its not a blunder but a choice. Mistakes could also be the key to success. If one does not make mistakes, what's the point of living, if U live your life so carefully. Therefore I think that mistakes are helpful rather than harmful.

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