Three steps to Using your past as learning boards
Every day we come across circumstances which are new to us. We find ourselves on unfamiliar paths. As the days sum up into weeks, months and years, we garner a truckload of these new circumstances and they become our life experiences.
Indeed every activity (thought, speech or action) which we participate in or come to knowledge of adds to our repository of experiences.
“Experience is the best teacher.” we all quip daily.
But is it true? do we really learn from them? If yes, how do we do that?
Over the past couple of weeks I’ve asked, researched and conducted studies and interviews concerning this and I condense what I’ve learnt in this post.
The first thing I found out is that yes, we learn from experiences. All those I consulted admit that we do.
As for how we learn from experiences many don’t have a specific answer. Well, in this post I’d share with you what I’ve found building up a three step process through which we can turn these past situation to learn.
The three steps to learning from experiences
To learn from your past you must first recognize it, I have found. You must know what are the components of your daily life as regards the past. By this I don’t mean those stand out activities or memorable moments alone but also the dull ones too. In fact, all that can be recalled are the past experiences I am talking about here.
Now that I’ve built this basis, I can proceed to tell you the three steps to consciously turning experiences into lessons for future use.
There you go,
- Conscious Reflection: just like I said earlier, you need to recall past events before you can use them as lessons from experiences. It is basically a process in which you sit down and deliberately reflect on what has been transpiring in your life over a certain period. It is some kind of a self review through which you review your past events not on the basis of accidental recall but consciously. No wonder, psychologists call it – “Introspection”.
- Objective Assessment: after deliberately looking back to your past, you now need to look at what those experiences have turned into in your life. What those choices have birthed. What consequence they attracted. You weigh them and describe them as good, pleasing and satisfying and as a result you want a repeat of them or as bad, displeasing or not satisfactory and are thankful that they’ve gone, not hoping for a repeat of them. This rating would affect the decision you make concerning them.
- Deliberate Application: this is the last and most important step. Here you take deliberate action deciding on what past events you want to replicate, what you want to hold on to and hope to see them happen again. No lesson is completely learnt if not applied. Knowing what past choices you want to retain in your life is not enough, you need to take action concerning the lessons. Literally, do them.
Now you know how to use your past events as lessons. As the last of the three steps emphasizes, you won’t see any results if you don’t take action. I say this often, one action is far better than tons of intentions.
John C. Maxwell summarises the whole point of this post when he said:
“Experience isn’t the best teacher – evaluated experience is.”
Now go ahead and evaluate your past events in order to use them as lessons.