In 30 seconds…
We have all had various experiences that have had a significant affect on who we are. What I’ve noticed over time is that it’s not so much the experience itself that is important, but the meaning we assign to the experience.
Have you ever been completely blindsided or had the rug pulled out from under you in a way that had you questioning everything you believed to be true? Maybe it was about a relationship you found out was filled with lies, or family beliefs or stories you learned weren’t true.
What is the story we tell ourselves about that experience? The struggle that follows is teaching us that when the rug is pulled out from under you, how you handle the uncertainty that follows can single-handedly change the course of your life.
That’s what affects who we are, future decisions we make, and how we interact with others.
Experience is what causes a person to make new mistakes instead of old ones.
Our response to situations, and events in our lives are all shaped by our experiences. Your thought process, our mind set, attitude, aspirations, expectations, and social behaviour are all altered or shaped by our experiences. Many of our experiences are usually personal in nature and there are several experiences that are conceived. The personal experiences are usually deeper in nature that we hold on to for long because we have endured personally as opposed to the ones that are conceived by other people’s personal experiences or opinions which changes over time and based on our individual personal experiences on that subject. If you spend some time thinking about your experiences that have affected you and your opinions about certain things in life, you will soon realize how fragile your opinions could be as it would have been lot different only if the circumstances of your experience were different.
Experience is not what happens to a man. It is what a man does with what happens to him.
How you react to an experience and your choice of response leaves an almost permanent code of response to similar future experiences in your memory. You are more likely to response very similarly the next time you encounter a similar experience. Thus what you chose to do with your experiences plays a major factor in your development, understanding, response, opinions and future behaviours. We all carry several fond memories of your childhood that we often try to recreate for our youngsters or children. We often try to physically recreate the same atmosphere and circumstances hoping our children have the same experiences in their lives. We ape our parents’ behaviours at times in an effort to invoke similar response from our children, we tell the same old stories we grew up with to our children, or create similar environments such as taking them to a beach, playing in an open back yard etc. The core idea being that we hope our children to grow up with the same fond memories we did from our childhood.
We should be careful to get out of an experience only the wisdom that is in it – and stop there.
When we realize how important a personal experience is to us and how it has influenced our lives in several ways, and how our choice of reaction to these experiences under specific circumstances has shaped our personality, it will dawn upon us the importance it is for us to create good experiences and circumstances for everyone who comes in contact with us in our lives. What we experience under specific circumstances shapes us and what circumstances and experiences we create influences every individual we come in contact in our lives. It is very similar to how we feel when we have met someone who makes us feel good or bad. And the other individuals’ response or reaction to the experience we bring to them affects us in return.
Who then can so softly bind up the wound of another as he who has felt the same wound himself.
We all are made of our experiences that we encountered in a specific circumstance. If an individual behave in a particular way, it is because his or her experience thought him these responses and resulting characteristics were born. We are like them too and they are like is. We all are victims of our life experiences. But we each can change ourselves and others by changing the scars in memories by creating new and positive experiences and circumstances. We can influence opinions, understanding, memories, feelings, responses, love, hatred, prejudice, knowledge and lives by how we chose to behave and the experiences we create for ourselves and others. Thus by making every effort to create a positive interaction and experience every time you speak or contact others you create a better world of pleasant memories, experiences and happiness.
To do something, however small, to make others happier and better, is the highest ambition, the most elevating hope, which can inspire a human being.
So, the next time you visit family over holidays, go over to a friends home, take the time to inspire someone who looks up to you, interact with colleagues at work, meet your grand parents, siblings, nephews or nieces, make an honest effort to create a positive experience for them and leave them with pleasant memories of you and your words and wisdom. For they often have a profound impact in their lives like your experiences have impacted you. You can begin at home with your siblings, wife and children and enjoy a life of pleasant experiences and memories. Your personal experiences are created by how others treat you. Likewise their experiences with you are based on how you treat them. It is a chain of continuous actions and reactions. But to change this link from a negative to a positive one, pressing the “start” button needs to come from you.