Why I love it when things go wrong, and you could too

If there’s a world where things always go right first time, it’s not the one in which I live.

A typical example is when I attempt to engineer something out of card or paper.

Don’t get me wrong, I adore this sort of work and am almost never happier than when I’m sitting there with scalpel, steel rule and glue-pot in front of me, about to make a book, box or (more often) blunder.


The up-slips aren’t deliberate, of course, but neither are they really avoidable.

After years of cutting and sticking, I’ve learned that you’ll never get all the measurements right the first time, and it’s only by making mistakes that you see how you should have done it in the first place.

So you start again.

Perhaps I didn’t take this approach in my earlier days of cardboard engineering, though.

In fact I’m sure I didn’t.

There were almost certainly times when it all went unexpectedly wrong, resulting in temper tantrums and ripped-up constructions.

While you may not share my enthusiasm for cutting and gluing, I’m sure you’ll have experienced a similar ‘miss and hit’ approach to making or learning something.

You get there in the end by accepting that you work out problems as you go.

Your first apple pie is unlikely to be as good as your most recent.

You’re a better driver now that you were on the day of your first lesson (I hope so anyway).

Your vocabulary has moved on since your first goo-goo, ga-ga.

Although the end result may differ, the process of reaching it almost always involves finding ways to overcome hitches, rather than having a strop and giving up.

You learned how to do this when it came to practical stuff, and almost certainly you’ve picked up equivalent skills when it comes to bouncing back from emotional problems – perhaps without properly recognising it, though.

Perhaps in times of distress you recalled that you’d overcome it in the past, so could do so again.

Maybe you simply foresaw yourself being in a better place.

Or it’s possible you reasoned that the obstacle before you wasn’t as big as you were making it.

These are all admirable approaches, but only you’ll know what’s worked for you in the past.

If you have just a couple of minutes today, try to recall the strategies that have proved effective historically.

You never know when they could come in handy again.

One thought on “Why I love it when things go wrong, and you could too

  1. Sometimes when things are going wrong one after another, I have a time out, watch something, go back to bed for a nap and start again. Sometimes it’s my attitude making all the things go wrong, sometimes it’s just luck. Sometimes when it’s just one thing, I persevere and work on it and it usually turns around, occasionally it doesn’t, but not everything turns out!

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