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Do we learn from our experiences?

03 Jan 11:00 by Michelle Watson

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Do we really learn from our experiences?

Ok, so to answer the question most people would respond with yes; yes, we have experiences in our lives generally, in work and in love and we learn by them. However, I want you to really think about this and rather than a straight yes or no, what makes us as people learn from our experiences in any given situation?

Why do we hear so many people quote ‘they never learn, do they’? When referring to a friend or family member who is known to consistently repeat past bad choices resulting in the same or similar negative experiences.

So again, do we really learn from our experiences? Or is there something we’re missing here?

In my opinion I do not believe that we have an experience, good, bad or indifferent, and then learn as a direct result of having that experience; but rather from the process of ‘reflection’ afterwards- what did I gain? What did I lose? Do I feel good or bad when I think back? What would/could I do differently? Are all questions that you may ask yourself upon reflecting in order to learn by your experiences.

Ok, so this might sound like complete common sense- there’s actually a link between experiencing something and then personal reflection afterwards! Shock horror!

But given the fast pace of life in society these days, it is probably worth considering how much time we spend for this crucial ‘me’ time, which we use to reflect personally and improve as people – if for nothing else but our own sanity and well-being!

On a final note it is also worth remembering that reflecting and taking time out in order to learn and improve is not discriminative and is something that we are all capable of! Why not try reflecting on your day? You just may thank yourself for it and make a difference tomorrow!

This blog was inspired by something which I came across within my recent studies, called ‘Kolb’s Learning Cycle’ - It’s a bit more psychology based but makes for an interesting read: https://www.simplypsychology.org/learning-kolb.html

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