How often do we spend time looking back on an experience, wishing it had happened differently? That we’d expressed ourselves more clearly or been better understood? How much time do we spend obsessing about events, reliving and editing them as if expending our energy on the past will change it?
When we do any of these things we miss the huge benefits that every experience offers us in terms of self development, growth and understanding. What can we learn from the things that we wish had gone differently? Can we be less reactive, less affected, kinder, gentler, firmer? What can we uncover about our behaviour that allows space for positive change and transformation?
Experiences are not only helpful for our development, they are essential. They allow us to modify our behaviour, explore new ways of communicating, avoid looking outside of us for the reason we feel a certain way and break through paradigms and conditioned thinking that are holding us back from moving on from our pasts into healthier futures.
A successful person encourages experiences, lives for them and looks forward to them because they know what opportunities they offer. They use each one to notice habitual thoughts that are unhelpful or keeping them welded to emotions surrounding other past events and from there begin to envision a future of healthy interactions and responses to events that don’t go as planned.
There are times when we want to give up on dealing with others and hide away from the world and whilst time alone can be restorative and invigorating, allowing ourselves to take part in life by welcoming experiences and growing from them means allowing ourselves to engage in society in a meaningful and empowering way.
When we become less concerned with judging an experience and more interested in learning from it, we relinquish the desire to justify, defend, victimise and obsess and instead create an objective distance from it that allows us to see where we might act differently in future and invest in that change, whilst also looking forward to our next experience and what it can teach us.