Make mistakes, lots of new mistakes.

Prince Youlou
3 min readFeb 12, 2024

In a world where perfection is often glorified and failure condemned, the idea of failing can seem counter-intuitive and very dangerous. Yet it is in our mistakes that learning and success logically reside.

Each misstep, each failure, is not an end in itself, but a springboard towards a better understanding of ourselves, of a project or of the world around us.

In reality, mistakes are discreet masters, hidden in the shadows of our apparent failures. If you get the chance, go and ask Cheikh Anta Diop, Nikola Tesla or Albert Einstein how many mistakes they made to arrive at the solutions that made them famous.

What’s more, to set out in search of solutions is to accept two eventualities: success or failure. To accept this reality is to open ourselves up to infinite growth, to endless exploration of our capabilities and limits.

The lessons behind every mistake

It’s a little crazy to think of this as an achievement. But as crazy as it may sound, mistakes are important lessons in our journey towards finding solutions. Just like the herbal teas our grandmothers used to make us when we weren’t feeling well, not always pleasant to the taste, but salutary.

A few days ago, we saw the host country of the CAN, Côte d’Ivoire, lose heavily to Equatorial Guinea by a score of 4–0, but this huge scoreline did not prevent them from winning again and qualifying for the quarter-finals and ultimately winning the final.

The lesson to be learned from this equally heavy defeat is that today’s failure is not tomorrow’s failure. This defeat helped shape the mindset of the West African Elephants, which led them to win the decisive match against Senegal.

What are mistakes if we don’t learn from them?

Making mistakes is an intrinsic part of the human experience, particularly in our never-ending quest for solutions and innovation. It’s a natural process that reflects our willingness to experiment, explore and push back the boundaries of our understanding.

However, it’s crucial to distinguish innocent error from blind repetition of the same mistakes. As a quote often attributed to Albert Einstein so aptly put it, “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.” This phrase captures the essence of what idiocy really is: not the mistake itself, but the inability or unwillingness to learn and evolve from those mistakes.

So, in our personal and professional journey, it’s essential to recognize our mistakes, understand them and, above all, ensure that they become lessons that light our way into the future.

Making mistakes and learning from them

By actively embracing our mistakes, we turn them into gifts for our personal growth. They are not signs of failure, but opportunities for learning and evolution.

I invite you to share your experiences and lessons learned from your mistakes, not to highlight your shortcomings, but to celebrate your learning journey.

Share your stories, inspire and encourage others in the comments. Remember: to make mistakes and learn from them is to grow.

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Prince Youlou

Prince Youlou is the CEO and co-founder of Niochi, the start-up whose mission is to make tourists feel at home across Africa. He does everything with intensity.