Learn From Others

“Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” – George Santayana

“A fool might learn from his own experience, but the wise person learns from the experience of others.” – paraphrased from Otto von Bismarck

“A smart man makes a mistake, learns from it, and never makes that mistake again. But a wise man finds a smart man and learns from him how to avoid the mistake altogether.” – Roy H. Williams

Have you ever had the experience of making a mistake, not remembering much about it … and then doing it again … and maybe, again? If that’s true, is it a problem? Maybe it is and maybe not. If it is, you might find this article of interest.

Let’s take a couple of common examples. First, imagine that you procrastinate. You’ve procrastinated ever since you were in elementary school. You’ve done it many times, putting off homework, chores and anything else you don’t enjoy doing. And you’ve paid the price for it, going way back and many times over. But you kept doing it and maybe you still do.

Or, let’s say you were raised by parents who fought constantly. As you grew older you saw your older siblings suffering from failed relationships. And you, yourself, tend to fall into one bad relationship after another. They’ve all be painful, but you kept doing it, anyway. And you can’t understand why.

It’s amazing, isn’t it? After thousands of years of history, philosophy and the teaching of basic truths about life … truths such as, “You get what you pay for. … Lie down with dogs and you’ll get up with fleas. … The love of money is the root of all evil.… The lazy man works double. … Watch the pennies and the dollars take care of themselves.”, etc. … people keep on making the same mistakes generation after generation, century after century. 

Why? Why don’t we learn from history and from the experience of others? What stops us? Is it sheer stupidity? Pride? Stubbornness? Shame? Self doubt? Fear of failure or fear of success?

Based on what I’ve observed in my practice, this is problem is rampant. Further, it’s not hard to imagine that it creates  greater problems. Surely, repeated failures due to repeated mistakes could produce feelings of discouragement, depression, loss of self-confidence and lack of motivation. This is the kind of thing that, in turn, can drive people to escape the ugly reality, that ‘I’m a failure’, and turn to drink or drugs.

If you have trouble learning from your own experience or from the experience of others, and from history, and if it’s made life harder for you, please call for a free consultation. The number is 219-309-3928. I’d be honored to be of service.

Thanks for reading!