The only way to really learn from experience, is to make mistakes so that you know what NOT to do in future.
There are 2 different types of experience. The kind you read about in books, and the kind you learn in real life. These are called Book Smarts and Street Smarts respectively.
When I was growing up, pretty much everything I learned about life came from books.
Once I left school however, I was rudely thrust into the real world and, well, quite frankly, I sank. As in sink or swim. I sank. And even now more than 30 years later I am still barely holding my own.
Below are some of the things I learned by Experience.
Stop being nice all the time.
I was raised being told that good girls like me, had to be nice ALL the time. I also had to respect my elders and to respect anyone in authority. I used to whine to my parents every time my sisters or my friends broke the rules, complaining that it just wasn't fair. I was never told that LIFE ISN'T FAIR!!! Nor was I told that Respect must be earned and not given. Other use this phrase instead. Courtesy is given. Respect is earned.
One of the hardest lessons I ever had to learn was how to say NO, Because I always felt that I had no choice but to say yes. Consequently I was taken advantage of and manipulated quite a lot in my younger years.
But I once I learned to say a key phrase - That's not my problem - I was finally set free to think for myself and make my own decisions instead of just diong what I was told.
Carry a confident posture
This one I learnt early. I was told to ALWAYS Look Confident and walk as though you know where you are going. So I learnt to study the maps and work out my route before I traveled, This was especially important whenever I worked on the late night shift for my job and was traveling home on the buses late at night in the dark. This was also very important if I was going into a new neighbourhood for any reason. .I was lucky that I was never approached or attacked, because I always walked tall.
Speak properly and manage your conversations well
I never had a problem with this. I have always been able to speak well.
Stop trusting everyone around you.
This was one I had to learn fast after I was manipulated into drinking rather a lot of wine. I hated myself for losing control when I woke up.
I have never touched a drop of alcohol since then and I am teaching my son to NEVER EVER drink alcohol as well. Alcohol makes you lose control of the situation, makes you say and do funny and stupid things and can get you killed if you are stupid enough to drink and drive.
Basically I dont trust anyone at all now other than my spouse, my kids and my sister.
Don't be afraid to say no.
Goes along with Number 1. stop being so nice and learn to say NO. If you don't say NO then people will walk all over you, use and abuse you and manipulate you.
Learn to hide your emotions.
This one has always been hard for me to do. I can hide (control) my emotions so much better online and on the telephone, but I cant do it when speaking to someone face to face.
Learn to trust and accept your gut feeling.
I have also learned to STOP second guessing myaelf. When My first thought says to do something or not do something, I go along with it, instead of arguing with myself. That saves me time and usually also saves a big mistake further down the road.
Be very wary of people who are just too friendly.
As much as I do want to chat and learn about people, anyone who starts asking me too many personal questions, usually has me saying something like, That's private, or That is none of your business.
More tips to keep yourself SAVE
- Avoid venturing into unsafe neighborhoods even if it means a longer commute
- Be aware of your personal belongings when you step out of the house
- If an argument or confrontation is not worth the hassle, move on
- Always hold on tightly to your valuables
- Don't be afraid to raise an alarm
- Remember the places and people you can go to if you need help
More Street Smarts skills for kids and teenager.