Writer Douglas Adams said, "Human beings, who are almost unique in having the ability to learn from the experience of others, are also remarkable for their apparent disinclination to do so." I sometimes wonder about my own disinclination to learn from experience. If you’re like me, you may repeat an unpleasant experience a few times before figuring out that something needs to change.
Maybe you can relate to a couple of men who were avid moose hunters. Every year they chartered a plane to take them to the Canadian backcountry. This year hunting was especially good and in a few days they each bagged a moose. They radioed for their pilot to come pick them up.
When the plane arrived, the pilot took one look at the animals and told the hunters they could not take such a heavy load along.
“But we spent all week hunting,” they protested. “And besides, the pilot we hired last year wasn’t worried about the moose’s weight.”
After much argument, the pilot finally relented and allowed them to load the animals. The heavy plane was only airborne for a few minutes when it lost altitude and crashed into the side of a mountain. As the men struggled out of the wreckage, one hunter asked, “Where are we?”
His friend answered, “About a mile farther than we got last year.”
You’ve heard it said: Keep doing the same thing and you will keep getting the same results. Or repeating the same experiences.
What is not working well for you? A habit you are trying to break? A relationship with a parent or spouse or child or friend?
What is a source of on-going frustration? Getting around to that project you keep promising to complete? Running up against the same old walls at work?
And the big question: What needs to change?
If you don’t like the way things are turning out, what are you willing to try differently? And what if you tried it today?
-- Steve Goodier