Is your learning greater than your experience?

I used to be a collector of experiences.  We would plan a trip and as soon as I came home, I would begin to plan the vacation for the next year.  I still love the “high” that comes from planning an event.  One day, my husband planned our anniversary trip and would not tell me what we were doing in advance.  I never knew the next “thing” until it happened and the whole weekend was filled with new and exciting adventures.  On the ride home, he asked me what I learned.  I thought this was a weird question because “learning” had not been a part of our weekend.  I sat and thought for a minute. I told him that I had learned that I never really enjoy our vacations once they start…I am always concerned with keeping us on schedule, moving our group to the next experience, worrying about directions and timing the experience just right.  But on this trip, I was relaxed and just very much present. I learned that I really enjoyed the spontaneity.

      This question “what did you learn?” has become part of my daily and weekly life.  Every time we train a new client, I challenge Logan to list all the things she learned.  When our internal team has a challenging week, I have them share what they individually learned from the experience.  When a deal goes south, we have an autopsy of the deal.  Each time, we try and make our learning greater than our experience.  Continual learning is essential to lifetime growth.  Dan Sullivan in the Laws of Lifetime Growth says, “You don’t get to choose all the experiences you have, but you do get to choose what to do with them.  You can use them as excuses, wear them as badges of honor, or make them emotional triggers for when you want to go on a good rant or have a good cry, or bury them like skeletons, which always seem to resurface later. These choices do not help you grow.  Or you can use them as raw material for learning, harnessing the emotional energy behind them to drive you to make good use of their lessons.”

      While making your new years resolutions for this year, I hope you will consider making this quote one of your resolutions for 2019. Transform your experiences into lessons and you will never feel disadvantaged by your past.

Traci Newkirk 
Chief Team Developer

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