Most of us are familiar with the adage: Hindsight’s 20/20. And many parents, leaders, and experienced business executives tout that experience is the best teacher. In addition, often when we look back upon our lives and career experiences, we realize ‘we could’ve or should’ve’ done something differently to achieve a different result and espouse, ‘Well, hindsight is 20/20.’
I agree that experience is a tremendous teacher and history is a foundation from which we individually, organizationally, and socially learn. However, I want to offer an additional perspective.
I have also been in numerous conversations when this is the commentary: “If I had only listened to my gut. I knew I was making the wrong decision when I made it; yet, I made it anyway. Why did I do that?” or “My intuition was throwing up so many red flags; yet, I just dismissed them. I thought logically this simply couldn’t be the reality – and it turned out, it was!” or “Why is this happening to me? All these hurdles keep being thrown in my way!”
I believe if we simply pay attention to what is happening to us, within us, and around us – while it is happening – we learn in the moment. If we truly listen to the whispers and take heed to what we are being told, we can change the outcome, trajectory, and overall experiences in our lives. Many of you know this is a belief I hold firmly. What I know without a doubt, is that every time I have made a decision when my ‘gut’ and ‘intuition’ was screaming something else, it has ultimately been a mistake or as I like to refer to them: a tremendous learning experience.
So, yes, I believe hindsight is 20/20 AND I also believe we have as much to learn through listening and paying attention to what is happening in this very moment– not just things that have happened in the past or could happen in the future – what is happening RIGHT NOW. Those messages and heightened awareness can help us view, appreciate, and learn from our present experiences with clearer lenses.