Experience

201_4418The observations, wisdom, knowledge, and skills that come from life

Experience teaches slowly, and at the cost of mistakes.  James Anthony Froude

Good judgment comes from experience, and often experience comes from bad judgment. Rita Mae Brown

Experience is retrospect knowledge. Hosea Ballou

We are the sum total of our innate abilities and upbringing, combined with our experiences and knowledge. Without life’s experiences, we are something less. Think of all the twists and turns, the forks in the road and decisions we have had to make; these experiences have made us who we are presently. All that we do, all that happens, everything we experience is shaping and defining us. Every experience makes a difference.

As we continue to learn about the brain, we know that it is much like today’s computers. The more that we expand the complexity of the software the more capable our computers become. We are now developing artificial intelligence. This is a new type of software that allows computers to learn and grow through their own experiences. Humans expand their capabilities through their experiences as well. The more we experience the more our brains expand. When we first started looking for a job, everyone wanted someone with experience? Experience means something. The opposite of experience is naiveté.  We can remember those that were especially naïve. They were this way mostly due to a lack of experiences in their life. We were all naïve at various points in our lives and about various things and subjects. What is the difference, today? The answer is experience. There is no substitute. Life has both bad and good experiences. Adversity forces us to have a broader range of experiences than just pleasant ones. We tend to take the good things for granted. It is a sign of intelligence and maturity to be able to learn good things from bad experiences. There is always something to be learned whether the experience is a good one or a bad one.

If we were wise we would develop an appetite for new and varied experiences. It brings to us a continuous form of learning. As we get older we are supposed to become wiser. We become wiser largely from what we learn through life’s many experiences. Being a recluse and avoiding the world is not the best way to expand our wisdom. With increased wisdom we have a better likelihood of finding joy and happiness. Popular sayings: “No pain – no gain” and “That which does not kill you, makes you grow” have something to say to us. We should go and experience all that life offers; taking on life and learning from every experience.

Challenge: Think back to a recent significant experience. Can you reflect upon any growth and knowledge you acquired as a result? Other experiences will be coming your way. Stop and objectively analyze them from as many perspectives as possible. Remove yourself as much as possible from the emotional side of things. You will be surprised by the depth of what you will take away. Learn to learn from all your experiences.

Wisdom: You know more of a road by having traveled it than by all the conjectures and descriptions in the world.   William Hazlitt

Spiritual: (NIV)

You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised. Hebrews 10:36

You will eat the fruit of your labor, blessings and prosperity will be yours. Psalm 128:2

Nay, in all things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.  Romans 8:37

God tries to use our experiences to get us to walk closer with Him. He has a plan for each of our lives, but he does give us free will to make our own decisions and do whatever we want to do. If we want to live up to our true potential, the moment we start seeking God’s help to point us in the right direction, that is the moment that life takes on increased meaning and purpose. He is our heavenly father and wants only the very best for us.

Prayer: Help me to learn and experience through all things according to your will and purpose.

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