It is often said that the human brain cannot ration what it has not experienced. Take for instance, sayings like “you can lead a horse to water but you can’t make it drink” or “it’s hard to teach an old dog new tricks.” Both, of which, elude to the notion that the human brain has trouble drawing clear connections to that which it has not perhaps experienced firsthand. This can be further illustrated as we reflect on the perpetual backsliding, or shall we say repetitive nature of personal lived experience. What do I mean by that? From birth, we are told to listen to those who’ve gone before us, as to avoid the traps or mishaps. Unfortunately, not all the time are we privy and attentive to the voices of the past in their present condition. We can find evidence of the power of learning from other’s in the saying, “there’s nothing new under the sun”. Essentially, one person’s experience could potentially become another’s springboard forward, or better yet head start in a lifelong race.
As I pondered some of this, I came to realize, as with most things, there are two sides to any good story. In this case, there is truth and value found in learning from other’s experience, but there is also a potential abandonment of ambition, endeavor and ground breaking discovery in entertaining too many ‘nay sayers’. These are the people who tried and failed and gave up or perhaps never tried because fear stopped them dead in their tracks! These are the people we call dream crushers!
Yes, we should challenge ourselves, especially mentally, to learn from other’s and their experience! Why? Simply because all things begin with a thought, whether good or bad, encouraging or discouraging, or right versus wrong. But what we should not do is let the tales of possible struggles to come prevent us from rising to the occasion and taking the challenge head-on with as much vigor and enthusiasm as humanly possible. We can do this by creating a wiser course of action after receiving the ‘baton of experience’ from those who’ve experienced firsthand that in which we seek to conquer.
Maintainin a balance of utilizing individual successes and formulating more efficient and effective action steps to hurdles is key. Nothing great was accomplished in succumbing to failure but all things great have been accomplished by learning from other’s and utilizing that knowledge to do better than good enough; thus, outperforming what has never been done. We have to remind ourselves as we set out to tackle a feat that there’s: “nothing to fear, but fear itself.”