Think back on your career. How did you learn the most important lessons, the things that stick with you and make you a better person, a better employee? In my case it has always involved a mistake or mis-step. I never learned anything from the things I did right the first time.
In my performance review at the end of my first year after graduating college, my boss told me that he was still not sure about me. I asked why, since I had accomplished quite a bit in that year and was feeling really good. He told me that I had not had a major screw-up yet. I said, "that's a negative? I thought that would be a positive mark..??" His reply, which I will never forget, was, "you never really know an employee until you see how they handle a major screw-up." Luckily he didn't have to wait long...
But it doesn't take big screw-ups, just about any mistake that creates an unintended outcome puts your brain in "remember this" mode. Think about it, do you have any sage wisdom that doesn't come directly from a bad personal experience?
So good judgment is a highly desirable trait
and good judgment comes from experience
and experience is learning from mistakes
and mistakes come from bad judgment
So why don't we celebrate mistakes? Is it because if we acknowledged that a mistake was actually good for us, then we might not burn the lesson into our brain?