Growing wiser instead of just growing older

LEARNING FROM EXPERIENCE

As we age, we have experiences that range from incredibly good to disastrous. If we survive these experiences, we have a chance to learn from them and go on to further adventures. If we get stuck in these experiences, we merely get older.

I’d like to suggest that charging into the barricades of life with guns blazing and a total determination to succeed is a winning strategy, as long as you keep track of the odds against you. If the odds against you keep rising, you have made a tactical error and need to fall back to a point of safety and regroup.

There is nothing wrong in making a few mistakes. It’s making the same mistake over and over that reveals your level of insanity. You are led into making mistakes when you have insufficient or incorrect information. Learning from mistakes allows for continuous improvement. There are some professions like design engineering and programming which are simply organized methods for learning from earlier mistakes.

If you learn from your experiences instead of repressing them or fixating on them, you will surely achieve a measure of wisdom over time. I think that is a happier course of action than avoiding life or regretting life. You become smarter over time, because your experience has turned into knowledge.

BEING STUCK IN THE PAST

Let’s look at the other end of the spectrum, the people who seem to be getting older but not wiser. You will find that their attention is stuck in the past, either on their failures or more surprisingly, their successes.

Too many times, the high school football star, the Homecoming Queen, and those fortunate children who are in the right place to become real celebrities on the stage or screen, are unable to move on and duplicate that success elsewhere.

This can even happen at work. A salesperson can have an incredible season which catapults his or her company into a new operating range. If the company promotes them to a managerial position, they may never again achieve the success they once had. If they cannot change and move on, they remain a perpetual has-been in their own minds although they have as much ability as they ever did.

Lets looks at the more usual case, the disaster which changes your life. If you have really failed hard at something, whether a career, a marriage, or a business of your own, you know how hard it is to pick up the pieces and move on. Death of a loved one falls into the same category. The only thing I can tell you from my own experiences is that all of these are surmountable and you will go on to happier days with renewed love of life if you persevere.

THE BOTTOM LINE

It is almost impossible to create a future while looking backwards

Get counseling, if you can, but do not allow yourself to pine over past
glories or past defeats. The beautiful sadness of regret may look good
in tragic novels, but it doesn’t do much for real life. Appreciate the
fact that you are still alive and contimue to create your own
tomorrows.

Set a goal, any goal, and work toward it by using all of the experience you have gained. You will get wiser as you get older and you may enjoy life a lot more.

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0 Responses to Growing wiser instead of just growing older

  1. Tom McMahon says:

    There can also be a sort of liberation in a big, huge failure. No need to put on airs any more.

  2. Absolutely!

    While the incident can be hugely embarrasing, it is life giving us a chance to reset our expectations, for example, or to re-examine our suppositions.

    Usually, a big, huge failure occurs only after we ignore a series of indications that all is not going well. These can be as diverse and hard to miss as; our co-workers begin avoiding us, the wife does not come home from her mother’s house, trusted friends don’t return phone calls…

    In the aftermath, our usual thought is, “What was I thinking!”

    Fortunately, we can figure it out, as it always made sense at the time, except that our data was wrong somehow, so our reasoning had no basis in reality and led to a disaster.

  3. Jay says:

    Your post today is truly inspiring. Of Course we all make mistakes, to err is human after all. What you have done today is eloquently expressed what differentiates the people who grow from a bad experience from the people who wither. I hope to bring your words to the challenges in my own life so that I may one day be wiser from my mistakes. Thank you

  4. Charu says:

    lovely post… it can be a no-win situation either ways – staying depressed over failures of the past or gloating over past triumphs and refusing to face up to today’s reality. as you say, the important thing is to look ahead and not behind…
    (am leaving a comment on your blog after ages!)
    —–
    PING:
    TITLE: Carnival of the Vanities 141
    URL: http://blogbusinessworld.blogspot.com/2005/06/carnival-of-vanities-141.html
    IP: 72.9.234.70
    BLOG NAME: Blog Business World
    DATE: 06/01/2005 03:21:33 AM
    Welcome one and all to the oldest and longest running blog Carnival on the internet.

    Yes, it’s Carnival of the Vanities time once again.

    This is my very first hosting of the Carnival of the Vanities here at Blog Business World.

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