Four different nights this week, I took my camera out trying to catch some lightning. Some evenings obliged with nice lightning shows. Others just looked back at me and gave me nothing.
I chose two different spots to shoot from, depending in which direction I thought the lightning might be (east, west, north, south). Sometimes, I found myself in the wrong place, shooting in the wrong direction. But sometimes where you are is where you are and you just have to make the best of it.
To say that I fucked up so many opportunities would be a massive understatement and even though I ended up with some decent shots, I missed so many more great ones.
The screw ups ran the gamut of mistakes from a weak battery in the trigger, focusing on the wrong distance, moving the camera, forgetting to zoom back out after focusing, pointing at the wrong part of the sky. You name it, I did it.
Despite me, there are some nice ones in what I got so I have them at the end of this blog. I hope you find something there to enjoy.
But by the time I drove away from the most recent one last night, I have to admit I was seriously pissed at myself. It isn’t that I hate making mistakes (we all do) it’s that I hate making silly ones.
Last night’s screw up was forgetting to refocus and zoom back out after I made an attempt to shoot a lovely rising moon. I didn’t even get the shot of the moon that I wanted. Go figure!
The problems with silly mistakes is they are the kind we should not be making. They are typically a repeat of something we have done wrong before and that is inexcusable. The whole purpose of making mistakes is that we learn from them and it improves us. Without the learning and improving, we are just floundering.
Life keeps presenting us with opportunities to learn and improve. it is one of the most wonderful parts of being alive; the chance to advance ourselves in some direction or other. These are the opportunities that allow us to improve skills, behaviors, knowledge, and even character.
But if we don’t take these opportunities, then our lives and likely those around us, are ultimately poorer.
Our lives become defined by a self-limiting aspect for which there is no excuse.
When we miss an opportunity because we couldn’t take it, that is one thing. Maybe we were busy, or didn’t have the skills to grab on to it, or maybe even not interested in it. There is a shame in that anyway, I would argue but at least our conscious decisions stopped us from taking the opportunity in front of us.
But when we try and fail because of stupidity; something we should have been able to do, then the shame becomes greater.
“At least I tried” is a good sentiment but not when you should have been able. Life requires us to do what we can do. When we don’t do what we can do, we let ourselves down.
Regulating our mistakes is the right approach to dealing with them. We have to allow ourselves to make them and being willing to make them is what gives us the drive to tackle something that might seem beyond us. But we should never be repeating mistakes.
When we do that, we disregard the importance of actually achieving something and frankly that is a character flaw.
Seeking to achieve should be an intrinsic part of our nature. Our character is built around it. It isn’t the most important part of who we are but it does take us on the path to becoming who we want to be.
… just a thought.