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So, in my previous article on decision-making, I mentioned a number of strategies for making right decision. Together, we explored various ways and techniques to consider when making decisions. Some of the strategies listed in the article include: making comparative analysis, seeking counsel, being optimistic, considering all sides to a decision, and conducting a research and getting our facts right.

However, in the previous article, I mentioned learning from other people’s life experiences.

So, today, we’ll be looking at reasons why you should seek, consider and apply the experiences of other people when making decisions that matter to you.

British actress, Donna Air has a famous quote on life experience. She said:

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Life experiences can, at times, be quite humbling, but you learn from them. But I like the changes in my life and what kind of person they’ve made me into. I’m very open, not as judgmental as I was in my twenties, and a lot more compassionate.

One thing to get from the above quote is that life experiences can be ‘quite humbling’. Because the people around you have passed through different things in life, they are a rich resource when it comes to making decisions.  If only you would sit down to listen to other people’s varied experiences, then you would get ‘humbled’ by the wealth of knowledge they possess about the decisions you want to make.

Here are some reasons you should lean on other people’s experiences when it comes to making decisions, especially the ones others have personally passed through:

 

HELPS TO AVOID PITFALLS

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The truth is that whatever decision or stage you want to pass through, someone else has passed through that stage, and they can confidently share with you the slopes, rough edges and smooth parts of that road. Relying on other people’s experiences helps you not to make the same mistake, repeat same failures, have same regrets, shed same tears, when you could have simply consulted the counsel and experience of those who have been through it all.

 

SERVES AS A SEARCHLIGHT

People’s repertoire of both good and bad memories can be a very good resource when it comes to seeking for the right direction, or making right decisions. Through their experiences, your own decision-making process could take the correct form or shape it needs. Their experiences can serve as a searchlight for illuminating the path to our own decision, finding faults, circling, and striking out repetitions and past mistakes.

 

SERVES AS A GUIDE

Even if some people’s experience would not fit exactly into yours, they could serve a great deal in enlightening your own decisions. In other words, you get to make an informed decision. People’s experiences become blueprints after which you could fashion your own decision in other to ensure.

Just the way tourists or visitors in a country will need a tour guide or manual in order to get to the right and best places within their short stay in a town, city or country, same goes for our life experiences. The way you make decisions, see their consequences and learn from them, so do others. So, we can learn from each other’s experiences in order to improve the quality of our decision-making.

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STARTING POINT

In very complex situations, where we are really confused on what step to take, which path to tread, which direction to go, what action to take, etc. people’s tried and tested life experiences could serve as a starting point, igniting us into action, salvaging us from the effect of inexperience.

 

LIFE’S EXPERIENCES, WHERE DO THEY COME FROM?

1. Family, friends, relatives, colleagues

  1. Traditional media: radio, TV, newspaper, magazine, books, etc.
  2. Social media: Facebook, Instagram, Whatsapp, etc.
  3. Trained personnel: counselor, psychologists, psychologist, etc.

 

 

HOW TO LEARN FROM OTHER’S LIFE EXPERIENCE

You have to determine the basic or core mistake the person made, why they made it, the factors that contributed to the decision, the cumulative effect of their decision, what the result would have been if they had gone through a different path, etc.

Reading wide is one way to accumulate lessons from other people’s life experiences in other to improve our decision-making. Books are very rich in experiences.

 

EXCEPTIONS?

Yes, exceptions.

The fact that you should learn from the life experiences of others is not reason enough to follow in their steps without recourse to our individual differences and personalities.

Different strokes for different folks

Understanding yourself, your choice, your tastes, your pattern of behaviour , etc is a very helpful way to combine other’s life experiences with ours.

This quote from an American writer, Joan D. Vinge says it all:

We are all born with a unique genetic blueprint, which lays out the basic characteristics of our personality as well as our physical health and appearance… And yet, we all know that life experiences do change us.

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Lastly, I leave you to meditate on the famous quote from English physicists and philosopher

If I have seen further, it is by standing on ye shoulders of Giants

 

Solomon Oladipupo