In life, you’ll evidently come to a place where you are forced to make a decision. Whether it be to face your fears and finally tell your crush how you feel or quit your job to take a leap and follow your dreams.
Either way, you’ll be stuck with the consequences of your decisions…even if that decision turns out to be a huge mistake.
For more mistake stories, find the original source thread at the end of the article.
“I needed a ‘C’ to pass my college communications course.
If I didnt get a ‘C’ I would fail to meet my college major requirements setting me back an entire semester.
But heres the problem: The semester was over and I had a ‘D+’.
My only hope was to email the teacher asking for a bump in my grade.
I wrote an email to her explaining how my past school performance warranted a higher grade and that not passing me would only hurt an ambitious student.
When I hit send, I realized I made a HUGE mistake.
I addressed her using another teachers name.
I tried to calm down, but then I remembered wed spent half the semester covering email etiquette.
What did I do?
Two days later, she emailed me back.
First, she addresses the glaring mistake then says she bumped my grade up to a ‘C’ to never have me as a student again.
I went out for drinks that night.
This is by far the best mistake Ive ever made.”
“I decided never to grow up.
I decided long ago when most of you readers were still not born. Perhaps before your parents were born.
Somewhere in the mid 1950’s I noticed grown ups were dysfunctional. Maybe they were my parents. I didn’t like what I saw.
Why go through all that and become an adult?
Why decide around 20 or 25 to be an unhappy person when you could decide to retain your childhood:
Postpone becoming an adult, a responsible, nervous, and unfulfilled adult? Be a child as long as possible, learn to ignore the harassment of others! Why not be a rebel long into adulthood or into middle age?
Retain your curiosity, stay away from responsibilities, defy old age even when grey, shun being grown up and stodgy.
It feels good so far, and by now I’ve avoided it too long. There is no time left to change, I’m nearly 70. What would I gain?
I am happy to be very young at heart!
‘I deferred responsibility for a long time’ is not exactly worded correctly. I got married at age 20, and I was responsible. I intended to suggest I deferred acting as an adult and leaving my childhood behind. I did not want to act too grown up too soon. Acting responsible is a rare trait for children, and acting childlike as an adult is rare. I have paraphrased Peter Pan often, and recently, ‘I refuse to grow up!'”
“There was a child in my school who was not befriended by anyone. Lets call her Katie. I didn’t have anything against her, but because I wanted to fit in with the other kids, I also never talked to her.
One day our teacher picked half of us, including me, and asked us to choose one buddy each, to perform some group activity.
I was both nervous and excited because I wanted one particular guy to be my buddy – you know.
As soon as the process started, I waited for my turn, praying for him to be still available for my team.
Since I was way too nervous to call his name out, when my turn came, I timidly pointed my fingers at him and he was standing next to Katie.
What I see next is Katie being all surprised and excited. She didnt give a chance for me to correct myself. She ran towards me and stood next to me in no time.
Of course I couldnt put her down then.
‘I never thought anybody would choose me’, she whispered.
I smiled with mixed feelings.
We talked and we became friends. Even though I wouldnt admit it then, I knew she was a genuine person.
And when the year ended, she wrote in my yearbook and it said, ‘Thank you for choosing me for that group activity; that was one of my few good days this year.’
I am not saying I got a friend for life. We are not in touch now. But Im glad I decided not to correct that misunderstanding back then.
Most of the times, being nervous makes you lose someone. But sometimes it would also make you gain something, which is even more satisfying.”
“I turned down a $500,000 investment for my company.
At the time, I had at best enough money to run one more payroll cycle (excluding myself).
If I didnt raise another round of funding in time, Id have to shut down operations.
Why would anyone turn down half a million dollars when a company desperately needs it?
If I said yes, the money would hit our bank account by the end of the week.
Heres the twist:
The terms of the agreement would have helped us in the short-term, but it would have jeopardized the long-term success of my company by giving up a substantial amount of control in it.
My close friends, family, and even my co-founder begged me to take the deal.
The investor was calling me at least once a day.
Everyone around me thought I was insane to even consider turning down that kind of money.
I spent the next 36 hours wide awake weighing out the pros and cons of my fateful decision.
In the last hour, I sent an email respectfully declining the offer.
The investor told me that I just made the worst decision in my life.
And thats when I knew I had made the best mistake of my life.
Sometimes in business, subtraction adds value.
I took a long walk and realized why I started this company in the first place.
‘It was to build a world-class product that served our customers, not investors.’
In the next 2 months, we reduced our burn rate and became ‘ramen profitable’ (made enough money for food + rent).
Shortly thereafter, we connected to investors who shared the long term vision of our company.
We then raised 1.8 million. The rest is history.”
“I had a crush on this girl. She was sweet, charming, blonde, and had a very beautiful smile. I was literately fascinated by her.
Because we didnt attend the same classes, and due to me being a little shy, we mostly talked on Facebook.
Then one day, for unknown reasons, I decided to try that silly ‘Sarahah’ app.
So I made an account and posted my link on my Facebook timeline asking for peoples criticisms about me to see how I could improve myself.
The next morning, I found this anonymous message in my inbox:
Alan, I am the blonde girl that you like. I am sorry but I only see you as a friend.
I read that at 6:10 am, just a few minutes after waking up from bed. My mind went completely blank and I started wondering how in the world could she know when I had never told her that I liked her before. Was it the way I treated her? How I complimented her? Or maybe one of her friends figured that out through her sixth sense and told her?
My mind ran through a lot of scenarios which made things even worse and completely freaked me out. I said ‘Im not going to be the rejected victim here!’
So without a second thought, I sent her a message on Facebook telling her that she completely misunderstood everything, that I never liked her more than a friend, and that I treat her the same way I treat other girls (hello, to the new me – the womanizer).
In college, I called her and told her that I needed to talk to her. When she came, I told her the whole story and asked her if she knew anything about it.
Turns out she never knew what I was talking about and with that, I made the stupid mistake of ruining everything with my crush forever. Goodbye my lover, Goodbye my friend. And screw the guy who pranked me.
But not every mistake is bad. Sometimes, mistakes open your mind to reality. And thats exactly what happened later.
A short time after that incident, I found out that she had a boyfriend and they had been together for a long time.
Come to think about it, she was sending me some defensive signs that I decided to ignore because Id been so obsessed with her beauty at that time.
So, that was the best mistake Ive ever made. I learned my lessons and moved on with my life. Do you know what those lessons were?
1. Never ever use Sarahah again.
2. Always think rationally and never react on your emotions and impulses.
3. Always be attentive to the little signs your crush sends you.
4. Just because a girl is nice to you doesnt mean she likes you.
5. Never talk about your crush to your friends. They may prank you over it someday (VERY IMPORTANT).
6. Mistakes are really good and some can become funny and interesting stories to share, so never stop making mistakes.
‘Youll regret it if you dont.’
This is the sentence I heard over and over again.
‘Youre so close, you might as well finish.’
But I didnt.
Friends, family and fellow students all told me to finish my degree and that I would be making a mistake if I didnt.
After all, there was only one year left.
But deep down I had a belief I knew I had to uphold:
‘Time is the most precious resource we have.’
After examining the curriculum for the final year of my degree, the majority of the course was about simulating the real world. Similar to an internship it was very practical.
On the surface it looked great, but there was no more teaching of new skills.
To everyone else, it was the most exciting year. But to me, it didnt make sense at all.
So I thought of the quote, ‘When you find yourself on the side of the majority—its time to stop and reflect’ – Mark Twain.
Why would I simulate the real world, when I could do it for real, in the real world?
So I left school.
To society, it was a mistake. To me, its one of the best decisions Ive made.
I saved 8,760 hours of my life.
Dont fall victim to the sunk cost fallacy.
Just because youve spent time, money and other resources doing something, doesnt mean you shouldnt completely abandon it if something better comes up.
It can be emotionally and socially taxing but do whats best for you.
Dont be afraid to jump ship.
Even if everyone else thinks its a mistake.
Learn the art of non-finishing.”
Points are edited for clarity.