Everything that happens in our life, every moment and every person we encounter, has an effect on our life. These events and people shape our experiences and those experiences in turn shape who we are. The end result of course is that we bring who we are to what we do and that is as true for those in their own business as it is for anyone else.
Who we are then, affects how we relate. It shapes our perspective on the world, our view. It supports our opinions, our ethos and our strategies. In business, it affects our relationship with clients, team members, suppliers and even fellow business operators.
The truth is not how our experiences and life contents have shaped us, as much as it is about how we use that shaping. It is about looking forward, taking the experiences we have had, the people we have met and the lessons we have learned and using all of those to shape our future from this day forward.
Rather than living as a passive player in the game of life, we can take the experience we have (both good and bad) and shape it to make the person we want to be, the business we want to have and the future we desire. This is the process of taking each experience, wringing it out and taking each drop of lesson from it and then using that lesson how we want. In that way we choose to learn from each experience, to grow and develop. That ability will have a profound effect on those who you deal with. In a way there is no longer good and bad experiences, they just all become experiences.
I had a friend tell me how much she hated a certain person’s name because the name reminded her of someone who had betrayed her years before. The lesson my friend took from that experience was to associate the name with the betrayal and to hate the name for ever.
This was a bad experience which had shaped her future. Perhaps the lesson to have learnt from the experience was to have been careful with trust rather than to dislike a name. This is a classic example of learning to take the very best lesson from an experience and to not allow the experience to shape us in an unhelpful way.
What we can do is learn to place those experiences in the filing cabinets of our mind and to reach in and use the particular lessons to help us to deal with future hurdles.