Learning From Experience – Join Our #MTtalk! » Mind Tools Blog
learning from experience

Learning From Experience – Join Our #MTtalk!

January 1, 2019

What: #MTtalk

Where: Twitter

When: Friday, January 4, @ 1 p.m. EDT (6 p.m. GMT/11:30 p.m. IST)

Topic: Learning From Experience

Host: @Mind_Tools

“Experience is not what happens to a man; it is what a man does with what happens to him.”

– Aldous Huxley, English novelist and philosopher (1894-1963)

Facing a new year, I’ve always wondered what the next 12 months may hold. Perhaps if I knew what was going to happen I’d be able to plan better. However, even with planned events I don’t always feel prepared enough.

Knowing what the future holds won’t necessarily help me make the best of it. And, maybe if I know what the future holds, I’ll be too fearful to live in the moment.

I’ve come to the conclusion that knowing what the future holds isn’t the most important thing. It’s more important to know what we’ve learned from the past and, by implication, from experience, and how to apply that learning.

Today, I’d like to share with you a few things that I’ve learned from experience that continue to serve me exceptionally well.

Experience Self-Respect and Gratitude

Things aren’t always as they seem. The lesson here is that you shouldn’t be quick to judge. Your particular experience of situations or incidents can often influence how you see things, and your perception may be at odds with how things really are.

Let it go, or let it grow. You cannot change the past. You have free will and can choose whatever makes you happy. Every choice comes with a consequence and responsibility. So, if you choose to hold onto grudges, remember that they come with a mental, emotional and spiritual weight that you alone can carry.

You can’t respect others if you don’t respect yourself first. You can’t give what you don’t have. If your self-respect cup isn’t full, it’s going to be hard to find any surplus that you can give to others. You might be able to do it for a while, but soon the supply will be exhausted.

Integrity and compliance are two different things. If you’re honest only when others are looking, or because you’re being checked up on, it’s compliance. If you’re honest with yourself and others when no-one is watching, it’s integrity.

Don’t expect others to live according to your values. The implication of expecting others to live according to your values is that you’ll expect them to make choices and to behave in ways that suit you. But because expectation often leads to disappointment, that can cause you to live in an almost permanent state of disappointment.

Live in gratitude. Cultivate an attitude of being thankful for small things. Doing so can change your perspective and help you to be more appreciative of what you have. Don’t know what to wear in the morning? Be thankful, because it means you have more than one set of clothes.

Learning From Experience

We often learn important skills from experience. In our Twitter poll this week, we wanted to know what skill you learned where experience was your teacher. In our poll, 34 percent of respondents selected perseverance. To see all the options and results, click here.

Our topic for this week’s #MTtalk Twitter chat is “Learning From Experience.” We’d love you to participate, and the following questions may spark some thoughts in preparation for it:

♦ Is learning from experience the best way to learn?

♦ Why is learning from experience so powerful?

♦ What mistakes at work are you glad you made?

♦ If we learn from experience, why do we sometimes repeat the same mistakes?

♦ How can we support team members so that they get exposure to the experiences that they need to grow?

♦ As we start a new year, what experience(s) from 2018 will inform, inspire or influence you in 2019 – and how?

Our Resources

To help you prepare for the chat, we’ve compiled a list of resources for you to browse. (Please note that some of the resources listed below are only available in full to members of the Mind Tools Club.)

How to Learn From Your Mistakes

Coach Yourself to Success


Making Amends

How to Handle Criticism

Recovering Your Reputation

Journaling for Professional Development

Level 5 Leadership

Dweck’s Fixed and Growth Mindsets

How to Join Our #MTtalk

Follow us on Twitter to make sure you don’t miss any of the action this Friday! We’ll be tweeting out 10 questions during our hour-long chat. To participate in the chat, type #MTtalk in the Twitter search function. Then, click on “All Tweets” and you’ll be able to follow the live chat feed. You can join the chat by using the hashtag #MTtalk in your responses.

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