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[Be-Tank] Embrace your mistakes and learn

Hi! This is Cynthia from Think-team.

Recently, Our CEO, Dr. Takama, summarised well about values (you can find them here) from the movie Appollo 13, which must be instilled by each member to carry out our tasks toward our long-term vision be a Giftmaker to the earth.

One of the values that attract me is don’t hide mistakes. It leads me to a question; how can we embrace a mistake? Growing up with Indonesia's education system that presumes mistake is like a sin made me so anxious about doing the right thing all the time. When I was in the sixth grade of elementary school, I would be hit by a wooden-made long ruler if I answered wrong. Well, miraculously, I never got hit 😉; I am also surprised myself. In fact, it was a burden for me; every time I go to school, I would always pray not to get hit today. This kind of culture prevented me from appreciating the progress and the process and only focusing on the outcome. Perhaps you could relate to this experience; when you make a mistake, you feel so bad about it and begin to feel guilty. Or you get frustrated so often that it makes you feel even sadder just thinking about it. This experience is what Mark Manson refers to as the “Feedback loop from hell,” but he comforts making mistakes as a part of the learning process. The book by Mark Manson, titled “The subtle art of not giving a f*ck,” enlightened me on embracing the mistakes by accepting my brain is an inefficient machine, which could motivate me for constant learning growth.

A recommended book by Mark Manson to embrace mistakes

Furthermore, working with until today, I am still learning how to embrace mistakes. We have the principle of being honest and transparent, not to hide mistakes. I guess to make the members comfortable and grow with the system, whenever there is a mistake, members will treat every problem/mistake as a system problem instead of a personal problem. So, we will not be blaming people when they make mistakes. But at the same time, you must work as a problem solver, learn from the mistakes and mend it (this, of course, needs a thinking process and professionalism from you). By creating such ecosystem, the members will not need to be afraid to think of new ideas and try new things. For instance, our biogas went through many trials and errors before giving our farmers benefits like today. This is a hidden reason why we call our office the "Dojo" -- a place to learn. Another good habit of is we allocate our Wednesday and Friday afternoon (even during the pandemic) to listen to the project other members are working on. From this, we discuss solutions to be improved or even get inspired for developing our other activities. I believe you will learn how to take feedback in this process. Ultimately, members (both staffs and interns) could have the confidence to contribute to society.

Discussion and sharing at's Dojo

The evolvement of's biogas digester

So far, this ecosystem allows me to contribute to some topics that are even still new to me in the research team and beyond. I make mistakes, but I learn from them. As Dr. Takama always says during my early days at even until today, “we cannot ignore the mistakes if we find them before it becomes a problem.” A mentor that I coincidentally met recently added that we should ACT on the mistakes and work hard to minimize making the same mistake each week. That is the beauty of human beings, learning and growing. I hope this could calm you down when you make mistakes. Simply, mistakes are not failure but an opportunity for you to grow. 😉

To learn and grow together with, you could apply for our internship program here


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Dec 05, 2020

Yap, people tend to avoid mistakes. However, we have to embrace mistakes and learn lessons. We have to solve and change mistakes to be lessons and another achievement.


OMG that journey of biogas bag! always love seeing how improves day by day.


Very comforting to know that we'll inevitably make mistakes no matter how far we are in life. Great read!


Yes, there is reason for everything we do. "Not hiding mistake" would be the No1 rule to work in our team!!

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