A Tap on the Glass - Vol. 26 - Looking Back to Look Ahead

As we end this first quarter of 2012, I find it extremely interesting  that at the end of every year, most of us look back at our biggest success, or biggest failures, in the year that just ended.

And then, we all try to figure out what to resolve to do in the next year.

If you go to the so-called “experts”, everyone wants you to sit and write down your goals, figure out your plans, lay out your dreams, or, in the short term, your New Year's resolutions.

Well it all a bunch of hooey UNLESS you have a better understanding of what the big picture is , or, more specifically, your big picture.

If you take a candid look at everything you did last year, you can usually pin down one of five things that occurred at the end:

1. You had a Great year – it went way better than planned, and you won.
2. You had a Good outcome – things went pretty much as you planned.
3. You had No outcome – there are a lot of things still pending, or you just dropped the ball.
4. You had a Bad outcome – most of what you planned on went wrong, or you lost track of your plan.
5. You had a REAL bad outcome – pretty much everything went way wrong, and all your plans died.

Now, the truth is that any of those outcomes come with lessons.  Lessons of why and how - the lessons you learned before, during, and after you took on any task, made any goal, or took any actions.

And those lessons are where I want to focus right now:

Isn’t it interesting that almost none of the things you read from the “experts” out there focus on those lessons?  Especially since it’s a critical part of achieving anything.

It’s all those lessons you’ve learned up to this moment that represent your experience. All your knowledge of what to do and when.

Some of that knowledge is very useful, of course.

Sales made, sales lost, goals achieved, goals unmet, relationships that succeeded, relationships that failed, all of your emotional encounters, and all of your economic transactions. To each one of those elements big and small, major and minor, there is tied a lesson of some sort that you hold on to for next time. And those lessons will trigger a response in your mind the next time you encounter the same, or a similar, situation. It will trigger a response like: do this, or don't do this, or have other people help me do this. And there's also the desire factor: I want to do this, or I don't want to do this.

And then there are the non-achievement actions that you took and the lessons that you learned (or didn't learn) like: watching television, keeping up with politics, watching the evening news, and other expenditures of time that you would be hard pressed to cite one lesson from the hundreds of hours you wasted.

Non-achievement is a lesson all by itself, methinks.  However it’s one lesson we really hate to learn, isn’t it?

Achievement and non-achievement are just a small part of our individual learning process. It's not as important to know that you achieved the goal or made the sale - rather HOW you achieved it, and the knowledge you gained that will get you to the next achievement.

It's not simply the lesson that you learned. Rather, it is the lesson learned combined with your response to that lesson...

What outcome were you expecting?
What outcome did you get?
What did you learn as a result of that?
What did you do about it?
What are you going to do about it next time?

Heavy, huh?

If you achieved something, that is called an event. When you learn a lesson from that achievement, that's called knowledge. And it is that knowledge that will carry you forward in life.

It's okay to celebrate achievement and revel in victory, but that's just a reflection of where you are at this moment.

The wisdom you gained and the associated lessons learned are what will get you to tomorrow.

Focus on that as you "leap" into the rest of the  year.

Thanks for reading…