Experience is the name everyone gives to their mistakes. – Oscar Wilde
What does that mean?
This quote is also listed in several places as “Experience is simply the name we give our mistakes.”
So, what do you call your mistakes? “My Ex” might work for some of them, but what about the rest? Does the word ‘experience’ fit fairly well for you? Experience, learning, tiny bits of wisdom, lessons from the school of hard knocks, or any other similar word(s) would work, right?
I would agree, but with one caveat. If you have learned nothing from having gone through the process, is it really experience? To me, experience only comes when you learn something from your mistake. If you learn nothing, you will likely repeat the same mistake, for the same reasons, again and again and again. Only when you learn from the mistake does it become experience. Does that make sense?
Why is experience important?
With the caveat I used in the prior section, experience is how we learn. We try something, note how it turned out, and use the experience to better judge how to move forward in the future. Experience, when we learn from what happened (I would say both from the good and the ill), is our feedback, our method of getting closer and closer to our desired goals.
Without experience, we are just mindless creatures, doing the same things over and over and wondering why we seem to get the same result each time. Without experience, we would never have learned to make fire, find the benefits of the six simple machines, or any of the technology of early agriculture and animal husbandry. One of the greatest gifts humanity has left itself is the accumulated experience of thousands of years of attempts.
Where can I apply this in my life?
Everything we try, everything we do, all these are sources of potential experience. The trick, as noted above, is to learn something from the results. That requires a bit of remembering, a bit of honesty, and a little bit of thinking, if one is to turn something that happened into experience.
As an example, if you tried to pass someone on the highway, what happened? Did they speed up, or slow down? Did you use your signal, did you get a head of steam before pulling out? What worked, what didn’t? Why do you think things turned out the way they did? What would you do differently next time?
Another example might include cooking food. How did the last batch of chocolate chip cookies work out? Were they thick and doughy? Did they end up runny and thin? Did you put too many on the sheet and have them stick together? Were the cookies the size you wanted, or did they end up larger or smaller? Were they under-cooked, over-cooked, or burnt on the outside and raw on the inside?
For any situation in life, the basic questions are the same. What worked, what didn’t? Why do you think things turned out the way they did? What would you do differently next time? Again, it requires an accurate memory, honest evaluation, and some logical thought to turn it into experience.
Think of a few things you do, and at which you would like to get better. Grab some paper and write a few of them down. Jot down a few notes about what went well or didn’t go well for the last few times you tried each. How does the list look? Are there patterns, things that are similar across multiple tries within a task, or even across multiple tasks?
For me, lack of patience seems to be a fairly common occurrence. Earlier today, I rebooted my daughter’s computer because I had become impatient waiting on a frozen screen. I no sooner poked the button than everything came back, long enough to taunt me, and then shut down.
A pattern tells us that there is one thing that, when we gain sufficient experience to overcome, will result in a change for the better in many aspects of our lives. That is why I try to find patterns whenever I examine part of my behavior or in my life.
Now, all that remains is for you to determine what you want to work on, where you need more experience, and what you will do differently this time. Over many repetitions, you will gain experience, and hopefully get closer and closer to achieving the exact results you hope for.
What are you waiting for? There is a world of experience waiting for you, get busy!
From: Twitter, @_inspirational_
confirmed at : http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/o/oscarwilde105029.html
Photo by OakleyOriginals