Tuesday, January 11, 2022

Trial And Error (MY Eng #37)

This is part of a running series about English idioms - less about language, more about life itself. Previously, we covered 'missing the woods for the trees', 'the elephant in the room', 'practising what you preach', blowing hot and cold', 'no smoke without fire', 'one swallow does not make a summer', 'apples and oranges', 'cut to the chase', 'leave no stone unturned', 'that's the way the cookie crumbles', 'can't have your cake and eat it too', 'old is gold', 'putting the cart before the horse', 'mountain out of a molehill', 'pot calling the kettle black', 'bite the bullet', 'go the extra mile', 'silence is golden', 'the devil is in the details', 'sink or swim', 'once bitten twice shy', 'don't count your chickens before they hatch', 'don't put all your eggs into one basket', 'chicken and egg', 'walking on eggshells', 'flogging a dead horse', 'better late than never', 'storm in a teacup', 'between a rock and a hard place', 'darkest before dawn', 'empty vessels make the most noise', 'birds of a feather flock together', 'separate the wheat from the chaff', 'let sleeping dogs lies', 'open a can of worms' and 'light at the end of the tunnel'.

It's good to set lofty goals. Nothing wrong being ambitious. Progression is part of life. We've all keep on moving to bigger things.

But often times, things don't work out according with our best-laid plans. Unforeseen circumstances. Personal miscalculation. Someone else dropped the ball.

So don't panic if something goes horribly wrong. Mistakes are bound to happen. Nobody is perfect.

Keep your cool, stay the course. Don't stop shooting for the stars just because your rockets fail to flare during the first launch.

* * *

A simple message, but a timely one. The pandemic has disrupted all our lives in many unexpected ways. Now, more than ever, it's important to keep in mind that living is all about trial and error.

Of course, being in error is never easy to stomach. It's a crushing blow to our ego. Unsettles our pre-conceived notions of our own competence. Makes us question about our choices in life. Failure is a deep pit that test the resolve of even the most resilient of us to hang on and keep climbing.

I've slipped up, countless of times, in 2021. Sometimes over spots that I expected smooth sailing. Being blindsided by hidden traps. Stumbling, falling, and bruising.

When we take a shot at a distant target, we're prone to have as many misses as hits. The harder the goal, the harder the fall. One can't lay claim to major success without facing few bouts of epic failure.

* * *

Should we be honest with our mistakes? Of course. There's no sense in covering up and hiding behind a mask without flaws. Don'r airbrush our imperfections. Don't sugarcoat the truth. Don't shy away from our inner demons.

Indeed, we often learn more from our failures than successes. Post-mortem is more rigorous when we're left licking our wounds. We're hesitant to fix things unless they're truly broken.

Embrace your errors. Experiment, explore. Expand your horizons.

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