Wisdom comes from experience which is often born out of mistakes and the pain caused by them. In this way, pain is the tuition for the school of the real world. Unfortunately, many people never learn, some people learn from their own mistakes, and a few enlightened souls learn from the mistakes of others. This is the message behind my latest book, Ultimate Hindsight. www.JimStovallBooks.com.
I have long been a believer that we should not take advice from people who don’t have what we want. Ultimate Hindsight draws upon my 25 years of interviews and input from the top achievers in the world of business, sports, entertainment, and life. Over 100 of these top-level performers share what they know now that they wish they had knownbefore. Whether it’s stars from the Golden Age of entertainment such as Katharine Hepburn, worldwide icons like Frank Sinatra, media legends such as Paul Harvey, legal luminaries such as Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, business leaders like Lee Iacocca, sports legends such as Dan Marino or Jack Nicklaus, recording artists such as Billy Joel and Barbra Streisand, or current A-list stars like Matthew McConaughey, their real-world experience can help you and me get from where we are to where we want to be.
If you will think of the concepts or principles you believe most strongly, you will often come to realize that they come from mistakes you have made, resulting in pain you have endured. When we can use the experience of others, their hindsight allows us to pay our real-world tuition using their pain.
In business, there is a pervasive concept known as “other people’s money.” It is often simply referred to by its initials OPM. While there may be some merit to leveraging a project using other people’s money, it is always wise to use other people’s hindsight.
A theory becomes real when it is tempered with experience. I’ve long believed that a person with experience never takes a back seat to a person with a theory; therefore, it is more important to ask someone “How do you know?” than to inquire “What do you know?”
We all understand that when we borrow money excessively or invest in speculative ventures that we are accepting a degree of risk. This is a theory that we may not fully embrace unless we or someone we know has been financially destroyed by debt or risky investments. In the aftermath of the recent financial meltdown, many people became more cautious and fiscally conservative, but as the years go by, many of them return to pre-recession practices that they intellectually understand can end in disaster. Those enlightened individuals who avoid these dangerous traps have learned from their own experiences or internalized the hindsight of other people.
As you go through your day today, learn from each of your experiences as well as the hindsight of others.
Today’s the day!
Jim Stovall is the president of Narrative Television Network, as well as a published author of many books including The Ultimate Gift. He is also a columnist and motivational speaker. He may be reached at 5840 South Memorial Drive, Suite 312, Tulsa, OK 74145-9082; by email at Jim@JimStovall.com; on Twitter at www.twitter.com/stovallauthor; or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/jimstovallauthor.