Many people have heard of the term, “the learning curve” but few people are aware of “the learning shortcut!” We have been taught from childhood, that experience is the best teacher! And it is true; practice has always been a more effective learning tool than theory! But what many people fail to realize is that all of the experiences you learn from don’t necessarily have to be your own! You shouldn’t have to learn all of your lessons from your own mistakes; you should also learn from the mistakes of others! If you see twenty people attempting to cross a certain street and every one of them is struck by a “Mack” truck, it would be a good idea for you to analyze their mistakes before you attempted to cross that street! Even the Bible advocates that we take the learning shortcut! The Apostle Paul, in referring to the error the Children of Israel made in the “golden calf” incident during the time of Moses, wrote: “Now these things occurred as examples to us, so that we might not desire evil as they did . . . These things happened to them to serve as an example and they were written down to instruct us, on whom the end of the ages have come.” (I Cor. 10:6; 11 NRSV)
You see life is too short for you to personally experience all the things you need to experience in order to determine what will and what will not work! Many people are living a life of frustrating defeat because they are constantly trying to re-invent the wheel! Whatever you are going through, you can be assured that somebody, at some time, has already been through it! My parents used to try to relate this to me by saying: “Son, we’ve already been where you are trying to go!” People today put it this way: “Been there! Done that!”
So learn to take “the learning shortcut!” You will get to your destination much quicker if you, not only learn from your own mistakes, but also from the mistakes of others! In fact, if you will be careful to learn from the experiences of other people, you will not make as many mistakes yourself as you would have otherwise.