Gaining Wisdom From Your Experience

by on July 9, 2014

Gaining Wisdom From Your Experience

e-Learning Concept. Computer KeyboardThe quote that graces the home page of the Absolute Transitions website this month “Life’s tragedy is that we get old too soon and wise too late,” appeared to me in a way I would not have expected.  When you are in my profession, coaching, you come to expect seeing inspirational quotes in some pretty standard settings.  The self improvement readings I do abound with them. Business networking meetings are common with opening and/or closing with inspirational quotes.  However, I was standing on line at my local supermarket, waiting to be checked out, when my eye caught the screen in front of me.  The screen was rotating through several things, (noting items on sale, promoting other local businesses), when a few quotes came up.  One was an amusing one from Woody Allen.  I forget the next one, but then one which is attributed to Benjamin Franklin and you see above crossed the screen, and it touched me. I knew then I had my quote for my website for the month of July.

I am a year shy of my 60th birthday.  It’s a funny thing about age. Some people will consider the age of 60 to be old. I likely did when I was several years younger and saw it as a time of life that I would likely retire from my corporate role as a project manager.  However, as I have been living and experiencing life over the last 10 years, my thoughts on this topic have undeniably changed.

First off, average life expectancies are so much longer these days, than say in Benjamin Franklin’s time. In fact, they’re a lot longer than say 100 years ago.  Much of what those of us that are in our 50’s or 60’s were taught and conditioned to think about this time of our life, was presented to us during our childhood.  Individuals retired by the age of 65, if not sooner.  If fortunate, you had maybe a few years to enjoy the time after working. The period was termed “retirement”, and conjured up images of doing very little, or that all activities were based on leisure.

However, that has not been true for me.  And, because of it, I’m actually having the opportunity to grow older and grow wiser “before it is too late.”  What has impacted me to feel this way?  I certainly read more than I did while in the past. Those with whom I come in contact, (clients, fellow business owners, people in the town which I live), have opened me up to a variety of topics and areas that I knew little about before. While I may not explore each and every new idea I hear, I’m at least opening to learning more about it.  Historically, I could let my emotions get the best of me and pull myself into down and negative feelings. That can still happen at times, but it does happen less and less. When it does, I have the ability to right myself, think through the situation, and interpret my reactions.  That in turn makes me aware that I have chosen to act the way I have. On the other hand, I’m aware there are other ways to respond that at least will keep my emotions and attitudes at a more positive level. It is an area where I feel I have grown a great deal over these last several years.

Life can be very frustrating for many of us. However, you choose whether to look at each thing that happens as an experience from which to learn or from which to curse your circumstances. Those who choose to “learn” from each experience use their aging as a “gift” in which to enjoy their life, especially more so emotionally than they may have ever done so in their past. When our focus comes from a perspective of enjoying experiences and gaining knowledge, as opposed to being rapped up in the “results” of what is happening to us, we truly don’t look at our life as a “tragedy,” but instead something to be savored and enjoyed.

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