As I get older, it’s becoming easier, even humorous, to admit some of my shortcomings. Remembering things is one of them. I find I’m taking a lot more notes and making a lot more lists than I used to. When I recently read this quote by the 17th century French essayist, it occurred to me that my mistakes are distinctly not something I take note of. I’d rather forget them and move on. Yes, there are some screw-ups that I emotionally chastise myself for about—sometimes even brutally over sustained periods of time. But that’s different. That’s a destructive self-inflicted torture. But a healthy examination and even recording of errors in judgment may be instructive—not, perhaps, as Rochefoucauld suggests to give me something to complain about—but to learn from.
Your thoughts? How have you found ways to keep track of this kind of learning from your own life?