Most of us remember some of our childhood experiences in school. At an early age we learned a difficult lesson: If we raised our hand to answer a question and were wrong, we risked being scolded by the teacher or laughed at by our classmates. Unfortunately, we quickly learned a difficult lesson that it was better not to try than to take a chance on trying and being ridiculed. And, while that was a tragic lesson, it was an all too common experience for most of us.
As we got older, life taught us something that was diametrically opposed to what we learned in school. We discovered that mistakes and failures could actually be our friends if we allowed them to educate us and point us in the right direction.
Are you aware that knowledge is learning new information, but wisdom is putting that information into practice? We all learn information in many different ways. However, it is not until we actually put the information into practice that it does us any good. When we make mistakes, learn from them and change our direction or behavior, the knowledge becomes wisdom and helps us to be more successful in life.
Experience trumps theory every time. I know many people who have a lot of book-learning and there is certainly nothing wrong with getting a good education. I, myself, have graduated from five different colleges and universities. I believe I am a well-educated person. However, I do not feel proud or arrogant about how much I know. On the contrary, I am humbled by how much there is to know and how little of all that information I possess. Therefore, rather than trying to be a know-it-all or act like I have arrived at some high level of intellectual ability, I continue to stay on the journey, trying to practice and apply the information that I do know on a daily basis. Perhaps you have heard me express the fact many times before that my goal is to be a wise person. The only way that happens for any of us is to learn from our mistakes and failures and allowing them to help us learn and grow to be a truly experienced person.
It is also true that you never know what you can do in life until you try. I am of the strong opinion that a person can learn any skill-set if they are willing to spend the time, effort and energy to do so. It is shocking to realize that even the smartest people in the world were once babies who drooled on themselves and wet their pants. I am not trying to be silly, but I am trying to press the point that every person has to learn and grow just like the rest of us. Some people are able to grasp concepts faster than others, but to the best of my knowledge, we are not in a contest. We are all on the journey of life, trying to learn and grow and acquire information. We can all learn information that was previously unknown to us; it just takes time and effort. That encourages me greatly.
There are many concepts I pick up rather quickly, but there are others that I just do not comprehend! I am still amazed at how little I understand about computers. Yet, I am grateful for what I do know and will continue to build on that knowledge. I am also thankful for the people who help me when I make a mistake. And the good thing is, no one laughs at me or makes fun of me! They simply try to help me become a more educated and experienced person. That is what this Tip is all about.
We should all be willing to give latitude to someone who is trying to learn something as long as their failure equals education. They will learn and grow past where they are today until they are able to do things that they have not done in the past.
Unfortunately, school and life are two very different experiences. When we are younger, school teaches us to be careful about taking a risk for fear that we might make a mistake and end up being made fun of or in trouble. Real life, on the other hand, teaches us that it is okay to make mistakes because that is how we learn and grow. Experience trumps theory every time and life turns out to be the best teacher of all.
I am not afraid to try new things because I want to learn to be a wise person and put my new knowledge and experience into practice. I believe with all of my heart that you are that same kind of person. Let’s stay on the journey together and become all we were meant to be.
Tip: Failure should equal education!
Have a great week! God bless you!
Dr. Robert A. Rohm