Monday, May 28, 2007

Experience as a Teacher

Experience can be either a good or bad teacher. 

The Good:

It can allow us to make better choices; that is, learn from our experience. Examples come easily to mind such as learning a task or skill. It can teach us what to avoid or what to pay attention to.

The Bad:

It can limit us is in what we allow to be possible for ourselves. We tried something and we had a bad experience. We hesitate to take a new opportunity because it is similar to one that in the past didn't work out for us.

We have a great desire to eliminate problems because when we have no problems by default then we would be happy. The higher the emotional level attached to the experience the more we classify it as black or white.

If we more closely examine our experiences we might find that they are usually a mixture of good and bad. Wisdom could be said to be when we realize that everything is shades of gray depending on our perceptions.

Perhaps we should as Stephen Covey said:

"Live out of your imagination, not your history."

Learn from our experiences but don't allow them to dictate a future less than we could have.

 

11 conversations:

Princess Haiku said...

That is a very sage quote and a good post, Peter.

Peter Haslam said...

Thank you princess haiku it is advice I follow every day. Sometimes well and sometimes I need more practice. :)

coach said...

Very wise words indeed. I try to be conscious of this when I teach my students. It can be challenging to get them to see their errors as learning experiences rather than evidence that they can't do something. I will add your words here to my approach to the issue if I may.

paisley said...

i have a real hard time with this... but that simple quote can be an easy to remember reminder when i feel my "inadequacies" rising to the top.....

Peter Haslam said...

Couch please do and I am honored. paisley don't make it tough sometimes a reminder can be enough

Jennifer said...

Great thought Peter...

There are times when we learn the "wrong" thing through experience.... like fear, intimidation, etc. etc.

As you suggest, in addition to our experience we benefit from an open mind and heart!

Thanks for this,

JJ

Peter Haslam said...

As you say jennifer perceptions are key. There are good lessons in everything.

Comedy + said...

It's okay to make mistakes. To err is human and all. To get up, dust yourself off and try again is the key. It makes one stronger when they finally succeed, and far less fearful of the next error that will surly come. Great post Peter. :)

Peter Haslam said...

As usual Sandee a good addition to the conversation. Thanks

Mark from Bloglyne said...

So, I do not see your "The Bad" actually being bad. It is not bad to learn that after a snake bites you, it is probably not a good idea to put yourself in the same situation, does that mean that you cannot play with the snake? Not at all, just that you need to find a solution if you choose to continue playing with it. But that is my $0.02

Peter Haslam said...

good illustration of your point mark and I agree which is why i used "hesitate". It shouldn't stop us as you say just do it smarter. Thanks for joining the conversation