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I’ve made a large number of mistakes in my life. My goal when I make a mistake is to understand what I did wrong, learn from it, pick myself up, and move forward. When I’ve made the same mistake for the third time, I usually finally figure out what I’m doing wrong.
While I’ve also had plenty of success, I never get confused about where most of my lessons come from. In case this is ever ambiguous from my writing, I learn the vast majority of my lessons from my failures. I also have learned what I don’t know, and have figured out that I shouldn’t venture into areas where I’m clueless unless I am willing to spend a lot of time up front researching them – at least to the point where I’m no longer completely clueless.
Matt McCall points us to a great essay by James Montier from Societe General titled Mind Matters: An admission of ignorance; a humble approach to investing. I thought it was right on and was nicely reinforced by Matt’s very personal post titled Ignorance and Humility.