We do not so much learn from experience as we learn from evaluated experience i.e. experience that we have reflected upon, analyzed, drawn out all the lessons to be learned. Conventional wisdom says it takes 10,000 hours of study to master a subject. However, if you go back to the original study that the number comes from, you will learn it is not just 10,000 hours of rote practice, rather it is 10,000 hours of coached, focused, directed study, customized to each student’s weaknesses and strengths.

Keeping a journal is an excellent way to gain perspective, increase self-awareness, spot trends and patterns in your life i.e. turbo charge your learning. Make it a practice to conduct “Post Action Reviews” to gain perspective and to ensure that you systemically mine each experience for all possible benefit and move forward at ever higher levels. However, be wary of “overlearning”: the cat that once having sat on a hot stove, never sits on even a cold stove. Or, more classically, the spurned lover who vows never to love again.

Remember, experience is NOT just what happens to you, it is what you DO with what happens to you. Turning your wounds into wisdom is a choice.

Closing Quotes:

“I am not a product of my circumstances. I am a product of my decisions.” – Stephen R. Covey, 1932-2012

“You can’t make the same mistake twice. The second time you make it, it is no longer a mistake, it is a choice.” – Unknown

“Don’t confuse poor decision-making with destiny. Own your mistakes. It’s ok; we all make them. Learn from them so they can empower you!” – Steve Maraboli, Life, the Truth, and Being Free

As always, I share what I most want and need to learn. – Nathan S. Collier