Experience is a Teacher
by Jim Stovall

If you were to list all of the things that you know -- that you believe and you are willing to act upon -- chances are this knowledge has come from an experience. Not all experiences result in corresponding knowledge. You have met people who suffer the same negative experience time after time but, somehow, do not learn the corresponding lesson that will enable them to avoid negative experiences in the future.

On the other hand, there are other certain enlightened or highly developed people who can learn a life lesson from someone else's experience. These people exhibit a quality we would call wisdom. They do not have to suffer through a difficulty in order to benefit from a learning experience.

Ignorant people will walk out into the rain day after day after day lamenting the fact that they are getting wet. Knowledgeable people will walk out into the rain once or twice and then learn to check first and take an umbrella when appropriate. Wise people can observe others who are coming in from the elements and determine that they need to prepare for the rain without actually getting wet themselves.

If we do, indeed, know what we know through experiences, we need to constantly ask ourselves: What experiences have we had or are we having that we need to learn from? Life will continue to rain upon you unless or until you learn the appropriate lesson. There are much more subtle experiences, both good and bad, that can result in fabulous lessons. We must constantly look for them.

Each time something good happens, ask yourself: What can I do to repeat that? Each time something bad happens, ask yourself: How can I avoid that in the future? When you see those around you succeeding in a way you find significant, ask yourself: How can I mirror that kind of success? When you see people around you suffering as a result of their own poor decisions, ask yourself: How can I learn that lesson without going through that challenge? In doing so, we can move from ignorance to knowledge, and - hopefully -- to wisdom.

Today's the day!

Jim Stovall is the president of Narrative Television Network, as well as a published author, columnist, and motivational speaker. He may be reached at 5840 South Memorial Drive, Suite 312, Tulsa, OK 74145-9082, or by e-mail at JimStovall@aol.com.

Articles by Jim Stovall | Visit Jim Stovall's website: www.jimstovall.com | Many more articles on Personal Development, Executive Performance and Inspiration and Interestingness in
The CEO Refresher Archives


Copyright 2002 by Jim Stovall. All rights reserved.

Current Issue - Archives - CEO Links - News - Conferences - Recommended Reading