Sunday, June 08, 2008

Curious about Experience: What Kind and How Much Do We Need to Become Successful, Knowledgeable, and Self-Confident?

Definition of Experience: (1) The effect upon the judgment or feelings produced by any event, whether witnessed or participated in; personal and direct impressions as contrasted with description or fancies; personal acquaintance; actual enjoyment or suffering. (2) An act of knowledge, one or more, by which single facts or general truths are ascertained; experimental or inductive knowledge; hence, implying skill, facility, or practical wisdom gained by personal knowledge, feeling or action.

You cannot create experience. You must undergo it.” - Albert Camus, French philosopher

It is important to expect nothing, to take every experience, including the negative ones, as merely steps on the path, and to proceed.” - Ram Dass, American psychologist

I especially relate to the two previous quotations. I have a slew of experiences – and lots of both positive and negative ones – that I have learned from. How about you?

I feel that we must learn from every experience of our own and those of others that are shared in books, on audio products and in person. When we undergo a negative experience, we have to accept it, but also internalize what didn’t work. And, then not do it again. It may make us feel better when we realize that others have worked through the same or similar experiences. However, it is even more important to examine the experiences that worked for them.

Last night I listened to the recording of an excellent teleseminar, where the speaker, David Neagle, emphasized that so many gurus are selling products (at high, high prices) that inform the buyers of the how to of the systems that worked for them. He warned us to be careful. We are all different. And, even though the methods worked well for someone else, it doesn’t mean that they will necessarily work for us.

In my opinion, the best approach is to take what others have done, make it comfortable for you and then try it.

In my search for “experience” quotations, I found even more than ever before, so will share a smattering of the many with you:

  • Judgment comes from experience - and experience comes from bad judgment.” - Walter Wriston, American businessman
  • Nothing is a waste of time if you use the experience wisely.” - Auguste Rodin, French sculptor
  • I'd rather have a lot of talent and a little experience than a lot of experience and a little talent.” - John Wooden, American coach
  • Mistakes are painful when they happen, but years later a collection of mistakes is what is called experience.” - Denis Waitley, American writer
  • Any experience can be transformed into something of value.” - Vash Young, American author
  • I have a theory that the best ads come from personal experience. Some of the good ones I have done have really come out of the real experience of my life, and somehow this has come over as true and valid and persuasive.” - David Ogilvy, American businessman
  • By three methods we may learn wisdom: First, by reflection, which is noblest; Second, by imitation, which is easiest; and third by experience, which is the bitterest.” – Confucius, Chinese philosopher

Some with a different focus:

  • Experience is a great advantage. The problem is that when you get the experience, you're too damned old to do anything about it.” - Jimmy Connors, American athlete
  • Experience burned into me the conviction that access to education ought to be based on how much you are willing to learn and how hard you are willing to work, not on how many dollars your family has in their bank account.” - Dave Obey, American politician
  • Creativity comes from looking for the unexpected and stepping outside your own experience.” - Masaru Ibuka, Japanese businessman
  • Never, for the sake of peace and quiet, deny your own experience or convictions.” - Dag Hammarskjold, Swedish diplomat
  • We gain strength, and courage, and confidence by each experience in which we really stop to look fear in the face... we must do that which we think we cannot.” - Eleanor Roosevelt, American First Lady
  • Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, ambition inspired, and success achieved.” - Helen Keller, American author
  • It has been my experience that folks who have no vices have very few virtues.” - Abraham Lincoln, American President

Here a couple that I will focus upon in the future:

Even though he is not one of my favorites, American businessman Donald Trump knows what works: He wrote, “Experience taught me a few things. One is to listen to your gut, no matter how good something sounds on paper. The second is that you're generally better off sticking with what you know. And the third is that sometimes your best investments are the ones you don't make.”

And, from one of my favorites, “The only source of knowledge is experience.” - Albert Einstein, German physicist

Let me read about some of the experiences that have changed your life.