Some people don't get wiser, they just get older.
I have over a 600-day streak on Duolingo. One of the sentences it wanted me to translate into Spanish yesterday was:
"I will live my life without mistakes."
What a stupid idea, I thought to myself.
In fact, that's one of the worst ideas ever.
It's better to make as many mistakes as possible, as quickly as possible.
Because that's how you learn. That's how you progress. That's how you live a life you won't regret.
Not that you're trying to make mistakes, but that you're taking action and living fully which, naturally, results in mistakes.
At the end of their lives, most people regret the things they didn't do -- not the things they did, even their mistakes.
They regret the chances they didn't take, the road they didn't travel.
But do you know what keeps people from taking chances and less-traveled roads?
The fear of making mistakes. Or better still, the fear of being seen as a fool by the people around them for making a mistake.
It's fear of mistakes (and their social consequences) that keep us playing small and living smaller.
It's this idea of 'living a life without mistakes' that results in the biggest mistake of all -- a life unlived, or half-lived.
This is what Melville called the horrors of a half-lived life. The other half of a full life is found in its mistakes. They are what make life complete, full, and worth living. They are what teach the lessons that bring wisdom to your old age. Because believe me, not everyone gets wiser as they get older. Some people just get older. They're the ones who tried to live a life without mistakes.