Accepting some mistakes

The German philosopher F. Nietzsche once said:
“it is no use living arguing about everything; it is part of human nature to make a mistake now and again.”

And the writer James Joyce shares the same opinion
“A man’s errors are his portals of discovery.”

Yet we all know people who absolutely insist that they are right even down to the smallest details.
We ourselves are often included in this category: we don’t allow ourselves to make mistakes.

All that we achieve with such an attitude is the fear of moving forward – because certain steps call for new decisions whose results are unknown to us.

The fear of making a mistake is the door that locks us up in the castle of mediocrity: if we manage to overcome this fear, we are taking an important step towards our freedom.


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  1. evelyncita says:

    Quien no cometa errores no es humano.. pero no debemos invoncar siempre en esto para justificar nuestros errores… por miedo no hacemos las cosas que más nos agradan… esto sin ir a costa de los demás… yo amo la libertad y es mi busqueda constante…he experimentado la soledad que da tanto miedo a las personas, en ciertas ocasiones esta ha sido a causa de enfermedades y otras que yo he propiciado este momento de soledad… y me trae paz… tranquilidad el poder saber que puedo estar sola… lamentablemente no lo puedo hacer con frecuencia… pero mujeres, hombres es agradable estar solo con tu yo… con tu alma… tus pensamientos en tu interior…

  2. that’s why we should not be afraid of failure in our ventures. i had more failures in my life than success, however, people are not aware of these because its my success that i hold on to so that it wont leave me. the more failures you had, the more you value and treasure your success!!!

  3. cristina says:

    Da onde voce vein…….non falo portuquez pero lo aprecio mucho

  4. Jussara says:

    Concordo . Muitas pessoas , por medo , se fecham no castelo da mediocridade .
    Poucos tem a coragem de passar per esta porta e enfim, alcansar a liberdade.
    Ah ! Liberdade , liberdade … tao proxima e tao distante…

  5. doro says:

    … today I gazed at a flower I bought around seven month ago, the flower was in a perfect state and the colors still vivid; the time of purchase it was a gorgeous flower and by now it is desiccated. And so while gazing I recalled that before I went to buy the flower I gave a look to the vase and I thought I need a nice flower for this vase, one that stays long time in good shape. (this was my wish)

    In fact I went only days later and I had no idea of the kind of flower I would buy and then in the store I saw a woman putting this fresh cut flowers in a vase and I was captured by the color of one and so I decided to buy it. Later on my way home I also saw that I did pay more for this flower then the sign in the shop said. I felt a little bad (like always we think we make a mistake) but I did not go back to the shop thinking they will find anyway an excuse for my bill, like this was the wrong sign or so.

    In the end today I can see that this flower is worse all the money I paid for it and made me happy every time my eye got caught by this flower; so there was no mistake and leaving things to the universe in the end brought me on the right day to the right flower shop making my wish become true.

    Sometimes we have to fail in small things that we can gain the fulfillment of our wish!

    1. Marie-Christine says:

      That’s gold!

      I had a similar experience Doro, I was walking along the street when right in front of my eyes appeared this beautiful little quaint flower-shop.

      “Goodness gracious” was the first word that came to my mind.

      As I approached I could see the most magnificent bouquet I had ever seen. It was sprinkled with colour and attached with a pretty ribbon.oh ! Imagine my delight. I was short of breath just looking at it. I stood there for a long time trying to think what kind of vase i could put it in. Will the plain white do or the one that has a black background with that gold geometrical pattern adorned with the pink flower and yellow leaf or just the plain crystal?

      The crystal was far too small for such a bouquet. Just looking at it, you could see it needed space to swim in the Spring water mixed with the teaspoon of sugar and the hint of bleach for a lengthier life expectancy. Plus I had to consider adding the ice cubes.

      I looked at the flowers on all angles, they were picture perfect and would fit so well into my living room.

      I am not mentioning the scent – absolutely out of this world –

      I just could not resist it. I purchased it.

      The lady smiled at me and I smiled back, she approved of my choice.

      The feast was not over. She delicately put some kind of chiffon-looking white paper and roll them in, then again with a transparent sheet of paper. She very gently applied a sticker onto the side and said I had to wrap it around one of the stem. Then she continued on with another ribbon and made a beautiful wrapping with it that went from the top to the bottom to tie up the bouquet.

      I was left with my mouth open to watch such performance.

      i walked back home holding one of my best treasure for the day in my hands.

  6. Geena says:

    Everyone makes mistakes, they don’t define us though. And when we learn to accept that it will be easier to have honest dialogue with our companions

  7. CIELO AZUL says:


  8. jomarie lubay says:

    And as always, you made a wonderful passage that enlighten us, Fear of moving forward, Fear of unknown, being comfortable at the same stage like being stagnant. I realized its okay to take a risk, and to move forward to the unknown, you,ll experience everything and you’ll make mistake but it is part of growing. And as you grow you will be wiser and be a better person someday. Thank you Paulo,, May God bless us all….

  9. Joanna says:

    Paulo que lindas palavras…

    1. Ginja says:

      “Be willing to live in between right and wrong. The ego needs and desperately wants to be right and make others wrong. In between right and wrong is a soft, messy laughing place where it does’nt matter.” Gark. This is my favourite quote. Finding this space is LOVELY.

  10. Sybilla Bader says:

    Thank you Mr. Coelho.
    But who tells us that a mistake is really a mistake? Sometimes we need “mistakes” to grow up and also to learn to forgive others and at first ourself. If time pasts and a same situation comes we could remember and this remembering is the chance to recognize the assignment for changing something. so nothing is allways like it seems to be.

  11. Azad Najafov says:

    Most advantageous attitude about mistakes and right behavior have research scientists. They do give accurate description of all made search attempts in precise sequence. Majority of these attempts lead to an incorrect result. But that position helps don’t repeate the same action, the same mistake. So, the science is based on mistakes ever done by scientists.

  12. Diane Kotelmach says:

    This man makes you think!!!

  13. Paula says:

    Thank you so much for writing these short, short stories! They always bring a smile to my face and remind me that life is a multitude of different experiences, good and bad. Thank you for remind us of this! And that struggle and mistakes are an important part of that experience. For a 22 year old, who has seen alot and still has yet to see more, I truly appreciate you and your writing. God Bless!

  14. chaman says:

    have not read all your books paulo coelho whatever i have read i am suggesting my grandchildren to rea allthequotes arerealgems

  15. Fernando Román says:

    Creo que el error es un comportamiento arraigado desde mucho tiempo atrás… Cometemos el mismo error esperando quizás saltar de la ley de la dualidad.
    queremos descubrir que encierra la ley detrás del error. Llegan los policí­as del karma y nos atrapan.
    ¿la pregunta es que queremos descubrir detrás del error? ¿a quien queremos retar? ¿que queremos encontrar? existen dos posibilidades la primera el descubrimiento y la segunda la adicción al sufrimiento… Lo que quiero dejar claro es la esencia de esa naturaleza, existe y los dejo con algo de pablo.El mal que no quiero hacer, eso es lo que hago (Rm 7, 18-25a)

  16. Pilar says:

    Muchos errores, se repiten… ¡ qué desolación!

  17. Sindhu says:

    The words are so beautifully sculpted that there is no chance someone could even mistake reading its meaning… But then again, he would be learning..! ;)

    Hats off to you sire, right said at right time..!

  18. Marouan AbdelHalim says:

    Mistakes are essential for keeping us aware of our problems without it everything will seem aflatonic which means losing the meaning of life.

  19. Kamal says:

    Il n y a que ceux qui ne font rien , qui ne commettent pas d’erreurs, leur attitude l’est plus.

  20. Henry Rojas says:

    The older I get the more comfortable I am with the “I don’t knows in life”
    It reminds me how unfathomable is the knowledge of the creator. The beauty of my intellectual limitations. And hurls me back into the wonderful awe of the present.

    1. Pilar says:

      Qué bellas palabras, que tanto tranquiizan.

  21. Panacea Reeta says:

    To err is human. And the wise ones learn from it:)

  22. The Word says ” like a dog returns to its vomit,a fool returns to his folly
    More importantly it says ” the beginning of wisdom is the fear of God “

    1. paul says:

      he that increaseth knowledge increaseth sorrow

  23. Biserka Vucetic says:

    Two days ago I grabbed a post for the blog, it was a part of my scientific work to work with children with developmental problems and the inclusion of these children in regular education process sistem.Doet again. Our thoughts are my words of Nikola Tesla. “I am not wrong which someone steals the idea, but I’m sorry it has no idea. “You, sir, after all, each cast-makers are a good example, all of which place is great.

  24. Mathilde says:

    i have the right to be wrong ;)P

  25. Ketan says:

    I am not the best warrior but I AM A WINNER because I learnt from the battle I lost…

  26. I’m all about embracing the mistakes. And then I try to make it better.

  27. Esteven hugo lopez says:

    Even the worse mistakes have a place in human history to obviously remeber the greater discovery’s.
    Alexander G. Bell made various mistakes before he perfected the light bulb!
    Albert Einstein made several mistakes in his equations before perfecting E=MC2 the theory of Relativity!
    Most REcently NASA Engineer’s made FAtal miscalculations that resulted in losing a space probe that cost over 1 billion loss in the NASA project!
    “The mistake came when NASA Engineers used the Anglo Saxon Standard” use of measurements instead of the proven “International System of Measurements” or what is plainly known as “S.”I or the Metric System!

  28. Mark says:

    Life is so perfect
    even making mistakes has
    The desired effect

    Life just as it is
    Now practice this perfection
    Calm calamity

    I mistook in vain
    Pray you forgive me for all
    That caused you pain

    1. Mark says:

      What could I forgive
      That has not already been
      In Truth Fore Given

  29. rajini says:

    yes ! i commit mistakes…coz im a perfect human :)

  30. Rits says:

    well said Paulo and here I am making umpteen mistakes in my life…… ;)

  31. Tammy Luckhardt says:

    It is important to own up to your mistakes and learn from them. It is very important to teach this lesson to your children – early – and it’s a difficult lesson to teach, for children innately fear punishment or disappointing a parent no matter how much you reassure them ahead of time or how gentle a parent you are. That sense of responsibility to own up to mistakes I’ve found is one of the hardest lessons to teach. In an adult who has not learned this concept, the consequences are horrendous and you end up with someone who is transparent, depressed, bitter and lonely for no one is perfect and no one wants to be with those that think they are.

  32. Narsh Kokal says:

    Experience is the name every one gives to their mistakes.
    And I have plenty of experiences. ; ))

  33. praveen says:

    Hi andrea, yo’ve taken the most important step towards ur freedom, as paulo made a note of it. So, hence forth yo r free from the burden of mediocrity, ur mind ll make use of al the mistakes to discover a new path.

  34. elif says:

    but the fact is to learn from our mistakes

  35. Bagrin Diana says:

    Cu toÅ£ii avem temeri. Pentru unii dintre noi, este frica de eÅŸec. Dacă í®ncercăm ÅŸi nu reuÅŸim, atunci ne temem că ne-am putea face de rí¢s. Ne temem chiar că i-am putea face pe alÅ£ii să se simtă prost. Pentru alÅ£ii, ar putea fi teama de succes. A reuÅŸi ar putea fi ÅŸi mai í®nspăimí¢ntător decí¢t a da greÅŸ. Fie că este frica de eÅŸec, sau cea de succes, adevărul este că cei mai mulÅ£i dintre noi nu í®ndrăznesc să aibă, să facă sau să fie ceea ce vor cu adevărat. Nimic nu ne Å£ine pe loc. Noi í®nÅŸine ne Å£inem pe loc.

    Frica ne limitează, ne í®mpiedică ÅŸi ne Å£ine pe loc. Cuví¢ntul “frică” poate fi privit ca un acronim pentru Dovezi False care Par Reale. Produce bariere ÅŸi obstacole ÅŸi ne creează un comportament care ne transformă í®n proprii noÅŸtri duÅŸmani, care, la rí¢ndul lui, provoacă vină ÅŸi anxietate, care pot duce apoi la imobilizarea completă.

    Frica ne í®mpedică să í®ncercăm, iar dacă nu í®ncercăm, nu părăsim niciodată locul í®n care ne aflăm acum – ceea ce, í®ntr-un mod ciudat, ne dovedeÅŸte că nici nu am putea!
    DuÅŸmanul este frica. Frica ne erodează respectul de sine, ne corupe í®ncrederea í®n sine ÅŸi, í®n timp, ne convinge că suntem rataÅ£i. Atí¢t timp cí¢t lăsăm frica să ne conducă, nu vom í®ndrăzni niciodată să í®nvingem.

    Frica poate fi í®ntr-adevăr depăşită ÅŸi í®nvinsă – atí¢t timp cí¢t í®nÅ£elegem că sursa ei se găseÅŸte í®n interior, nu í®n lumea exterioară.

    Cu toÅ£ii vrem să í®nflorim í®n í®ntregime ÅŸi să devenim tot ce suntem capabili să fim. Cu toÅ£ii dorim abundenţă ÅŸi prosperitate. Cu toÅ£ii vrem să fim foarte sănătoÅŸi ÅŸi fericiÅ£i. Cu toÅ£ii vrem relaÅ£ii profunde, importante ÅŸi pline de sens. Cu toÅ£ii vrem dragoste, bucurie, fericire ÅŸi í®mplinire. Cu toÅ£ii vrem ce este mai bun di toate.

    Surpriza este că putem să le avem! Tot ce trebuie să facem este să ne depăşim fricile ÅŸi să í®ndrăznim să ne urmăm scopurile. Putem face aproape orice, dacă nu í®ncălcăm Legile Bunului Dumnezeu sau drepturile celorlalte fiinÅ£e umane.

  36. Marcelo Sabará says:

    For sure Paulo… due accept some mistakes that I found the right way… ande with them I learned not to make the same mistakes again… only the new ones. lol

  37. Zoran says:

    Lovely. Even more, as for individuals, it is important that social systems allow mistakes as well. Organization/social system that are too rigid in punishing mistakes and enforcing responsibility, lose their flexibity and capacity to learn.

  38. doaa shahin says:

    paulo you are the best

  39. Natascha says:

    Thanks a lot. the required word at the right time :)

  40. Andrea says:

    Paulo you are as a “Social Friend”. Every time I read your blog I discover something that enriched me and is important for understand many situations. As if you are a friend to talk about somethings and you always have the right answer. I want to tell you Thank you! Because you are very important for all of us!
    (sorry for my not perfect english ;-)

    Greetings from a your passionate reader from Italy.

  41. JAY says:

    yes, Its like every mistake is step for moving towards perfection and success….bcoz we can learn from what we did in past???….. We can make our life more better by learning from our mistakes…..Ty Joycean and Nice Marie.

  42. Abdülkadir Bagdat says:

    Mistakes and practices open us the gate of true and perfect way …

  43. Lor says:

    I wouldnt agree- those who always think they are right, are not afraid of moving ahead, cos their mistakes are noticed by others, not themselves (cos themselves genuinly are sure about their right opinions and decisions)….am one of them ://

  44. Genesis says:

    Oscar Wilde once wrote in “The Picture of Dorian Gray”, “…the only things one never regrets are one’s mistakes.” Mistake serves as lessons to ourselves and lessons to those who we want to help and love.

  45. El miedo a errar, es el carcelero que nos impide vivir en libertad.

    Muchas gracias, de nuevo, Paulo.

  46. Michaela says:

    big big truth… I love this reading… Thank you

  47. Lailah says:

    This is true. I believe mistakes are part of my imperfect life.

    If you don’t make mistakes, you don’t make anything. – Paulo

    Lailah <3

  48. A Joycean says:

    Whatever the value of mistakes may be, you would be wise to read books before quoting from them.

    What Joyce wrote was “A man of genius makes no mistakes. His errors are volitional and are the portals of discovery.” And it was Stephen Dedalus speaking. Stephen does share many elements of his biography with Joyce, but it would be naive at best to assume that everything Stephen says Joyce believed.

    1. Maretha Cronje says:

      Paulo, you are indeed a man of your word. So glad you demonstrate what you say!

  49. Marie says:

    I don’t know a lot about life.
    And if I’m ashamed of my ignorance
    My daring is to learn

    Always be aware of the consequences of my actions or my words
    This is not what I want
    I prefer to go towards perfection rather than being
    As I avoid being bored

    More than anything, I have a hope in life rooted deep in my soul
    It’s an endless dance she gives me and I accept with pleasure

    So if in conscience, I can’t offer you what I don’t own myself
    Have the daring to accept what I am
    If you persist in ignorance
    So, take another path

    If our paths are found
    Is that we should remember
    At the beginning was the Word

    Light & Love,

    1. MuHaMeD..S says:

      everyone makes mistakes; that’s why they put an eraser on the pencil… whoever said that, couldn’t have said that better!..

    2. Marie says:

      Excellent and very fun !

  50. Shreya Damani says:

    Thank you for this one.. really needed something like this!