The Value of Taking Risks and Making Mistakes

Essay by TK-TrianumetzuHigh School, 11th gradeA+, February 2008

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On the television show "The Magic School Bus," Miss Frizzle, the over-eccentric, adventuresome teacher, always says, "Take chances, make mistakes, and get messy!" She is stressing that not taking risks and, in turn, not making mistakes is nearly equivalent to not learning. If one wants to live a thrilling and, more importantly, fulfilled life, they need to take risks. Moreover, if one wants to become educated, they need to make mistakes.

Alexander Smith once said, "Everything is sweetened by risk." Risk teaches us to weigh our options and decide which of those options is the most appealing, if not a beneficial choice. Of course, sometimes the chosen choice requires us to leave our so-called "comfort bubble" in favor of an adventure. A cautious life - that is, one where the options selected are not audacious or beneficial - is a boring life. Sometimes, we need to stop making rules, pop our own comfort bubbles and start breaking the rules that we set in stone.

This is furthered by the fact that most opportunities come from, and are rewarded by, taking risks. We simply cannot wait for the opportunity to grab us by the hand and drag us to the reward. Instead, we need to take a running start and grab the opportunity's hand on the way to the reward. That is being an effective risk-taker as well as a human with plenty of initiative.

Sometimes, when we take a risk, we make a mistake. Quite frankly, I believe that making mistakes is actually more advantageous than merely learning a subject. George Elliot said, "A string of mistakes is actually a string of memoirs." We learn and retain information better when we make a mistake. It is a weird concept, but it also makes sense when you look at it...