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  • Writer's pictureD. G. Martin

Success Hurts Progress

Man getting slapped in the face by an open palm with some white powder.
The fabled drug slap, shown here, is the least effective herpes cure known to medical science.

Had Mongolian grill for dinner.

Always a good choice in my opinion. My eyes got greedy, however, and I ordered the Extra Large bowl.

And that's what I got crafty.

"Okay, self," I said to myself, "if you're going to insist on the Extra Large bowl, then I'm going to pick every spicy thing I can find to put into the bowl and have you in so much pain by the end of the meal that you'll never do this again."

The challenge was accepted, and the heat was on.

One small problem: It wasn't spicy enough.

Not even a tear. My face didn't even get red. It was delicious, and I'm going to do that again as soon as I can.


And that's when it hit me. I hadn't learned anything. No mistake was made, so I had no way to learn anything. That's how we all learn, right? I'm told it's the only way we can learn. We make mistakes, and we learn from them.

That's how we grow.

So what about the dumb ones?

Don't be coy with me. You know one, too. You likely know more than one. A dumb. One of the ones that doesn't ever improve because they never learn anything.

Because they never make mistakes.

Whoa, now!! You might not have read that correctly. I'm not saying they're perfect. I'm saying they never make mistakes.

Think about it. You know who I'm talking about. Yep. That one guy who never admits he's messed up. Never says he's sorry, never apologizes. Never says, "Well, I could have done that better." More often than not, with these people it's always someone else's fault. ALWAYS.

Back to the Extra Large Bowl, I finished the whole thing. Didn't learn a thing. Tried to. Couldn't.

Thus, learning can only happen if you make a mistake.

There. Philosophize that one out while I figure out why I turned 36, and my taste buds are now offing themselves at such a rate that my innards are threatening to become my outards because of what my tongue is letting get past it and into my digestive system.


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