Today’s Prompt: MISTAKE. Learning from past mistakes.

What’s a mistake?

Mistake is defined as a misguided or a wrong action. That rings a bell. I can’t even begin to fathom how many of them I made in my life. This is one of those things that tend to become clearly apparent only in hindsight.

As Steve Jobs once said, you can only connect the dots going back.

On the other hand, is making mistakes really that bad? Aren’t we supposed to learn from them and move on instead of dwelling on?

Wisdom comes from experience, and experience comes from the bad judgment. And the bad judgment comes from the past mistakes, no doubt. And the past mistakes come from… I don’t want to go there.

On the flipside, everyone makes mistakes. Even Harvard students who are supposed to be smart kids. Here’s an example of what said students got wrong. It was the following puzzle:

A ball and a bat cost $1.10. The bat costs $1 more than the ball. How much does the ball cost?

Aug 28. TDP Prompt MISTAKE - Pixabay - pkg deal

Image Credit:  Pixabay  (text is mine)

Most Harvard students answered 10c that was wrong. However, the correct answer is 5c.

I admit that at first I answered wrong, too. Then I started thinking, wait a minute, something doesn’t add up here. If a ball costs 10c, then the bat would cost $1.10, bringing the grand total to $1.20.

I turned to algebra for the answers.

If the ball is X, then the bat is X + 1. Then we’re having the following equation: X + (X + 1) = 1.10

2X + 1 = 1.10 .             2X = 1.10 – 1 = 0.10.                  And X = $0.05, bingo!!

The keyword here is “more“. The bat costs $1 more than the bat. If the puzzle stated for example, that the ball and the bat together cost $1.10, and the bat costs $1, it would have been so much easier to solve.

See how I learn from my mistakes? Welcome to the club.

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2 Responses to Today’s Prompt: MISTAKE. Learning from past mistakes.

  1. Mneme9 says:

    Most of the things that I’ve learnt have been the results of mistakes. In fact many innovations that have been discovered in science were the results of mistakes. Mistakes are very important because they cause happy accidents, new discoveries and generate new insights or ideas. If when I do something I don’t make any mistakes I suspect that I’m not doing them well nor learning anything valuable or new nor exploring all the different possibilities.

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