Oscar Wilde said, “Experience is simply the name we give our mistakes,” and Rita Mae Brown said, “Good judgement comes from experience, and often experience comes from bad judgement.”
Experience can teach us much if we open ourselves to the lessons it contains. But we must be careful. The results of our bad judgements can create so much fear that we’re unwilling to try and learn new things.
Here are five ways we can take the best advantage of our experiences:
- Keep aware of the past – To learn from our experiences, we must be able to recall what we have done. Then they can serve as guides for the future.
- Let go of the past – Don’t hang on to the past too tightly. Don’t waste energy wishing for the “good old days” or being afraid to try something new, because of past experiences. Give yourself permission to make mistakes.
- Don’t make the same mistake twice – Learn from your bad judgement. If you’re still making the same mistakes five years later, you’re missing the point.
- Make the most of each experience – As new experiences come along, don’t spend too much time analyzing. Jump in and get the most from it. Then, if there are lessons to learn, take the time to study.
- Live your life to the full – life is not just random moments or individual events. Life is the sum total of all you do and are. Don’t live your life as if it is some sort of checklist where you can’t move to the next experience until the previous one is complete.
I’ll finish with another quotation, this from Henry David Thoreau. “I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life, to live so sturdily and Spartan-like as to put to rout all that was not life…”