Learn From Other People’s Experience With Failure

Other people and their personal experiences offer untold opportunities for learning. Through the experiences of others there are two valuable sources of information available; two attitudes of mind; two categories of those with similar experiences but with remarkably different results. We are exposed on a daily basis to representatives of both groups. Each group seeks its own audience, and each has an effect on those who choose to listen. But both sources are important. One serves as an example to be followed, the other as an example to be avoided – as a warning to be studied, but not emulated.

We should all be students of failure. It is part of the world experience – part of the life experience. Why do we want to study the failures? So that we can learn what not to do.
All experiences can serve as our teachers provided we learn from the information and invest its value in our own lives. There are those who teach that associations with people who have not done well with their lives and their opportunities should be avoided at all cost for fear that we will learn their poor habits, and as a consequence, repeat their unfortunate mistakes. However, as someone wisely said, “Those who do not learn from the mistakes of the past are condemned to repeat them.” If we ignore the lessons of the past, from whatever the source, then we may become victims of the process of trial and error. By ignoring the lessons of history, our own trials will inevitably try us and our own errors will ultimately destroy us.

It is unfortunate, perhaps, that those who fail do not teach their experiences for all to hear. If we had more opportunity to learn from the negative experiences of others, we might well save our own lives from certain disaster.

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