In Others’ Words: Yogi Berra and making “wrong mistakes”

In Yogi Berra’s world, there were mistakes … and there were “wrong mistakes.”

The Major League Baseball Hall of Famer, who died on Tuesday, September 22, was known for his Yogi-sms. I scrolled through a list of 30 of his most memorable quotes, and settled on “We made too many wrong mistakes.”

There’s something to what he said. There are mistakes … and then there are wrong mistakes. Some mistakes don’t influence the outcome of a game all that much. In the same way, some choices we make — some mistakes — don’t affect us all that much. The decision is made, we stumble for a moment — Ooops! — and then we move on. I mean, bad haircuts grow out, right?

And then there are the wrong mistakes. The saying yes when we should have said no. The moving forward when we should have stayed where we were and waited, even though waiting is so, so difficult. Going back into a bad relationship because, well, maybe this time it will be different — although nothing has changed and all we’re going on is wishes and hopes. We take the job offer because it’s a promotion — and all the while, we’re ignoring the clamoring in our heart telling us that this isn’t our passion, this isn’t our gifting.

Wrong mistakes. Sometimes we see them coming and we run right up to them and embrace them. Sometimes we wish and hope and pray, only to discover our choice was wrong, wrong, wrong and we’re left with the consequences of our actions — or someone else’s wrong mistake.

In Your Words: What do you think about mistakes and wrong mistakes? What’s your advice on discerning between the two?

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  1. September 24, 2015, 6:04 am   /  Reply

    A wrong mistake is one you don’t survive.

    • September 24, 2015, 11:50 am   /  Reply

      Well that about sums it up, Andrew.

  2. September 24, 2015, 7:57 am   /  Reply

    A wrong mistake is one that hurts others oh so much.

    • September 24, 2015, 8:28 am   /  Reply

      Amen, Pat.

    • September 24, 2015, 11:50 am   /  Reply

      Yes, Pat, considering the effect of our choices on others is important.

  3. September 24, 2015, 7:57 am   /  Reply

    I’m amazed how you seemingly fairly easily crank out timely pithy thought-provoking posts. Yes, Yogi Berra was one of the greats and you represent him well.
    Just yesterday I was in anguish at heavy work load that was getting away from me AND a book I’d worked on I regarded as finished I found that at least latter half was more of a Nanorimo draft. Gasp. But I’ve learned craft in the interim and it might serve me well to write it now rather than rewrite. Most mistakes are survivable and sometimes lead to better results.

    • September 24, 2015, 11:51 am   /  Reply

      Dee: I so love your attitude, you willingness to assess a situation and say, “What have I here … and what am I going to do about it?”

  4. Shawn Kuhn
    September 24, 2015, 10:09 am   /  Reply

    I think petite or salad shrimp would be classified as a wrong mistake.

    • September 24, 2015, 11:52 am   /  Reply


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