The school of hard knocks is an accelerated curriculum. Menander of Athens
We can decide to let our trials crush us, or we can convert them to new forces of good. Helen Keller
Without a struggle, there can be no progress. Frederick Douglas
Life is one big on-going learning experience. Each of us should possess volumes of lessons learned. If we learn something from everything we do and experience, we should acquire great wisdom and understanding.
Everyone has been given advice by someone. The intent was to help us avoid making bad choices and the mistakes that comes with them. Many of us have tried to give advice to others for the same reasons. We wish to see those we care about avoid making mistakes, especially the same ones we have made. When we give our advice we often have the advantage of lessons learned. It is the advantage of experience; having been there; having already made the mistake. We become motivated to help someone avoid making the same mistake.
Life has a way of making us learn many of our lessons the hard way. We are largely unable to learn from the wisdom and advice of others. We must walk our own paths; others cannot do this for us. We learn to relish the learning experiences that come from successes and victories. The ideal learning experience is to make a decision; take on the task; succeed; and relish the learning experience. Regrettably, our best learning opportunities come from failures, mistakes, and bad decisions. It is a shame if we do not really learn from our failures. The key to lessons learned is to learn from all experiences, ups and downs, twists and turns, in victory as well as in defeat.
If we learn from every fall, our knowledge of how to avoid falls in the future increases. There is no better example than the trials and tribulations of babies learning to walk or youngsters learning to ride bicycles. These greatly exemplify lessons learned through experience. When we learned to walk, we learned something every time we fell down, eventually we quit falling. Learning to ride a bicycle was the same process.
One of the keys to personal growth and successful living is continuous learning. We should become experts at getting the most from every experience, good and bad. If we fail to learn from our bad experiences, we may be doomed to repeat them. The idea is to get better and wiser as we go forward, falling down less, and having more successes and fewer mistakes. Our trials and errors should teach us how to improve and get better as we go.
Challenge: Are you proficient at the lessons learned approach? Do you learn from your mistakes? Can you look at them from an objective point of view, dissect them and get everything possible from them? Your life’s learning curve will become greatly improved, the better you become at lessons learned. The next time you have a significant mistake or set back, sit down, evaluate, and carefully learn the lessons that are there waiting for you.
Wisdom: That which does not kill me makes me stronger. Nietzsche
Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ. Philippians 1:6
Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. Romans 8:37
In his heart a man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps. Proverbs 16:9
In God’s infinite wisdom, he designed and equipped us with great capacity to learn through experience. We start out as empty vessels and from the moment we take our first breath we start learning. We are overly dependent on the school of hard knocks; being obstinate and having to do everything on our own. When we learn enough to truly become wise, we learn the key to successful living is to allow God to help show us a better way to live.
Prayer: Help me to learn from my mistakes. Help me to listen and to learn from you.