Our experience, friend or foe?

As we accumulate years of experience we also accumulate valuable knowledge. We learn from our mistakes (hopefully) and gain better intuition about things. This is excellent. However, experience is a double edged sward, on the other side it blocks our vision and narrows our width of thought. We believe that “we know” to the extent, that arrives a time where our experience is the number one element hindering our growth. What is even worse, we become blind to that fact.

This phenomena leads us to develop a perception of what is possible, and what is impossible. It leads us to search for growth enablers we believe are possible, and reject those we believe are impossible. We gain so much confidence in the validity of our point of view, we mostly, do not even stop to ask if these perceptions of reality are still valid. And what is even worse, we often times choose to ignore facts that can invalidate these perceptions.

There are two quotes by Albert Einstein, I believe are relevant here:

  • When asked to define Insanity he said the “Insanity is doing the same things and expecting to get different results”
  • Relating to problem solving he said that “We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them

Our natural trait is to seek growth. There is natural growth, the growth we all experience as time flies by. To accomplish this growth we do not need to do a thing, just make sure we are not doing anything that can disturb it. However, when we seek exceptional growth, we need to do something about it, and this something is change.

The sad thing is, that when we use our experience to evaluate change, and our experience is guiding us as to what is possible, or not possible, we tend to make the choice that is aligned with the natural growth, as it is mostly aligned with our experience.

Therefore, when coming to make a choice for a change that is supposed to be delivering exceptional results, we need to choose against our intuition, we need to give up on our experience and be bold enough to take a new path, never explored before. Yes, we should use precautions, but nevertheless walk the new path. If we keep trusting our experience, we keep on doing what we always done, and we should not be surprised to keep getting the same results we always did. Those who dare, make a difference.

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