If history has taught us anything it is that it often repeats itself.

Like the hands on a clock, history continuously comes full circle time and time again. Think about how many times something has happened to you and you get an instant feeling of déjà vu. The feeling that something has happened before is merely history reminding us that it is always repeating.

Every event, every moment and every crisis we live through is a building block toward future versions of ourselves. We go through trials in life to make us stronger and to test our mental fortitude. We would never have a bad day if there weren’t going to be more bad days ahead. You have to endure the first one to know how to get through the next one.

It’s human nature to make mistakes. We usually do not like the outcome of a mistake. Maybe you fail an exam or forget to put gas in your car and run out on the way to work. Mistakes happen and often times there is no way to fix them.

It’s not about how many mistakes you make. Instead, it’s about how you react to those mistakes and learn from them so you don’t make them again. I can’t even count the number of mistakes I’ve made in my lifetime. Every time I do, I try to understand what I did wrong and use that knowledge to avoid it in the future.

History is not just a part of the past; it’s a stepping-stone for the future. Think about what you have done in the past no matter what situation you are in. Even if something has not happened to you before, you can at least draw on similar situations you have experienced or even from mistakes others have made.

Go ask former BP Chief Executive Officer Tony Haywood if he would have fixed the problems with the now infamous oil rig that spilled more than 200 million gallons of oil into the Gulf of Mexico. I would be willing to bet that mistake won’t be made again.

Mistakes can cost millions of dollars, thousands of hours, and many human lives. It is these mistakes we must learn from in order to prevent them from happening again and causing further damage to our society. n