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
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.