Stories Rock; How I grow from life stories.
Older or More Experienced people have always surrounded me. I’ve gained so much from their hindsight. It helps me form the way I see the world and colors a bit more of the the decisions I make and steps I take.
My mom would take me to her Nursing Home as a kid. I’d spend days wandering and talking to people while she’d work — 8,12,16 hours. The more time — the more friends. We’d play Bingo, cards, dominoes. It was a good time. But what I gained most from it was an appreciation for their stories.They could tell stories for hours.
By three methods we may learn wisdom: First, by reflection, which is noblest; Second, by imitation, which is easiest; and third by experience, which is the bitterest.
Bright eyed; Bushy tailed. I’d listen for days.
I’ve come to appreciate deeper the saga of people journey. Today I actively search for the lesson in each epic. I look for lateral application to see how their lives are similar to mine and how the decisions they faced could be compared. I want to gather enough ‘data’ to know that the decisions I’m making aren’t outlandish and I want to know what the results have been for those before me that made similar choices.
To leverage their lens of experience I ask them: If you could go back in time would you do it again or would you do it differently? Herein I share with them a moment where they get to look backwards and make a choice. Sometimes I feel as if I’m right there with them. Often the decisions they’re making resound deeply with decisions I’m making myself.
I watch them figure out ‘do I go out on the limb for love’; ‘do I jump without a parachute into my business’; ‘do I quit life and travel the world.’ It’s such a fascinating thing to see because most of them already have their mind made up. They’ve taken decades of experiences — crunched them and in a matter of seconds affirmatively delivered their decision.
You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future.
Today most of the stories I hear come from folks half the age of those in the nursing home.
They come from friends in their 30’s, colleagues in their 40’s, and clients in their 50’s. All of it has lateral application. There’s something to learn in all of it. And I ask all of them the same question after every saga.
If you could wind back time — would you do it differently…
Hindsight is the best teacher. Learning from the hindsight of others gives me confidence and color when I chose my worldview and make decisions for myself.
At the very least, it’s a good story and I’m a boy cuddled up in front of the fireplace on a snowy Winter day eager and excited to hear them tell it.