Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Pearls of Wisdom: The Nature/Value of Experience

by Alan Kandel
Why is experience important?

As active participants in life, we are schooled, period – no ifs, ands or buts. It’s one of life’s so-called “facts.” Moreover, we encounter many people as we navigate our ways through life. That navigated or charted path is also referred to as the journey. Along that journey, we arrive at many a fork in the road where decisions, some critical (most not, thankfully) must be made. Armed with proper information the decisions made can be informed ones or lacking proper information, decisions made can be, well, for lack of finding a better way to put it, a shot in the dark. All of this can be summed up in one word – experience.

As humans, since we are experience-driven beings, the experiences we have act as lessons or teachers. They help guide us. But, more than that: They can help shape us into and help make us who we are.

Furthermore, as for the experience itself, the experiences experienced in life are the result of either happenstance or deliberateness. But, what exactly does this mean?

Situations involving happenstance as a life event – or life-changing event – and one that occurred by chance, is where the situation just happened. Hence the term “happenstance.” The long and short of it, though, is that the situation happened and, by virtue of that, it’s an experience.

On the other hand, experiences based on deliberateness are trial-and-error experiences. To give an example, a person decides they want to enroll in a martial arts training program. Before taking the plunge, so to speak, a meeting with a potential instructor and/or instructor designate could take place. The purpose of this is really quite simple: It’s so the perspective student can assess whether or not a particular program and/or instructor is right for them. Sometimes a perspective student may just want to observe the training going on before them before actually meeting with the perspective instructor and/or committing to that particular training program. Or, a perspective student, at the instructor ‘s invitation (it really depends on the situation) can join the class on a complementary basis (the duration of which is decided between the student and instructor), the purpose of which enables the perspective student to gauge the whole experience and decide whether it’s right for them or not.

Regardless of initial approach taken, if the student senses that the martial art is the correct one, the setting is appropriate and the instruction is satisfactory or superior, all this can be influential in the student joining. Not just this, but the way in which this new student is received by others in the class can also influence the new student’s decision to sign on or not sign on. This process is also referred to as “testing he waters.”

What this has all led up to is that experience is one of the best teachers and being that this is the case, there is definitely value in that.

Above and beyond this, if we are able to share such experience and help others in the process, better still.

Experience: Don’t pass on it; pass it on!

Copyright © Alan Kandel. July 4, 2012.

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