Laws of Lifetime Growth -Always Make Your Learning Greater Than Your Experience


This entry is part 2 of 2 in the series The Laws of Lifetime Growth

This is Sullivan’s law #2. This essentially means learning from experiences. It is possible to have many experiences yet learn very little. If we do not consciously think about what worked and what didn’t in the given situation or event, then we run a very big risk of losing out on the great opportunity for growth, and of course quite likely repeating the same mistakes multiple times.

Sometimes we have experiences that are embarrassing, or leave us with a very bad taste. You know those experiences where you would rather forget they happened, and wish everyone else would too. But while they might be painful in a certain kind of way to even think about, it is far more profitable to constructively analyse the particular experience, and extract lessons that can help you avoid making the same mistake, and/or effect a more satisfying outcome when

similar situations arise. When you consider what worked, you can build on that to improve your effectiveness. And when you consider what did not work, you can avoid repeating that.

I recently gave a presentation where for the most part I thought I did okay. But when it was over, I realised I forgot to mention a few important things I had in my notes. I also realised that I did not end in the way that I really wanted to. When I think about these mistakes, it is somewhat painful, and I wonder if my ineffective ending was very noticeable. But if I were to simply just try to blot it out of my mind, I would be missing out on an opportunity to be more effective. When I think about why I made these mistakes, I can try to put measures in place next time to help prevent them from recurring. When I focus on the parts that were particularly well received, I can consider what it was about them that made them so effective, and try to repeat this, and even do it better the next time, which will produce greater success in the future. And that reminds us of law #1, Always make your future bigger than your past.

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