How often do we talk about learning expensive lessons?
You know the sort of thing.
- Buying something without properly researching.
- Getting married far too soon.
- Going for the cheapest option rather than the best option.
- Being too quick to trust, only to regret it later.
There are countless examples which we can probably all recall from our own lives, where we did something and it turned out to be a mistake.
Worse, it was a mistake which cost us a lot – whether that was time, money, health, our career, friendship, or something else, the price we paid for that “lesson” turned out to be very high.
We can probably all, if we put our mind to it, think of things which we’ve called “expensive lessons”.
I’ve heard many people over the years speaking with a sad wistfulness about their own expensive lessons, expressing regret at the cost and wishing that they had learned the lessons sooner for less cost.
That's not the way to think!
When label these as “expensive lessons”, we focus on the cost, on the hurt and pain and loss.
In so doing, we also, at some deeper level, hold ourselves responsible for the pain, the loss, the hurt.
We blame ourselves for making those mistakes and for not having avoided them.
Which is never a good place in which to place ourselves, and which actually mis-represents what these lessons actually were.
Don't Mourn The Cost, Celebrate The Opportunity!
The important thing is not that the lesson had a cost.
The important thing is that you learned the lesson.
By learning the lesson, you have something to celebrate. Learning should always be celebrated.
By learning the lesson, you have gained something of value – far higher value than the cost the learning incurred.
- Celebrate the learning.
- Celebrate the value.
- Congratulate yourself for having moved forward, having learned, having grown.
Because the alternative isn’t that you could have avoided paying the price.
The alternative is that you could have paid the price and not learned the lesson.
Which would be a every expensive thing to have done indeed!