Experience

Experience is what allows you to recognize your mistakes when you repeat them.¹

Many are the times I’ve lived out that one.  Some examples:

  • “It’s only two kilometers.  I can get lunch afterward.”  Four hours later, I am ravenous.
  • “It’s not raining, and it’s only a short walk.”  Two days later, my shoes are still not dry and my calves still hurt.
  • “Oh, this path on the map looks pleasant.”  Two hours later, making a path through heavy brush trying to find one that the GPS says I am walking on.
  • “This paved road is awfully long, but the map shows a shorter one fifty meters that way.”  An hour later, making … wait, didn’t I just say that?
  • “Oh, this side path looks interesting!”  Later, “When am I ever going to learn to take water, no matter how short I think the walk is going to be?”
  • “OK, I know the map is not reliable, but the GPS² will get me back,”  Later, “When am I ever going to learn to take the extra battery with me?”

Perhaps you have some examples of your own?

¹Printed on a sugar packet in a restaurant.

²I love to go a-wandering
 Along the mountain track.
 And as I go I love to sing,
 “How the heck do I get back?”