Life lessons are by their very definition, lessons we learn through the course of our lives. Learning through personal experience. Becoming street wise through experiencing the streets.
Wisdom gained through experience
Leading people requires wisdom and wisdom is gained through experiencing life and learning along the way, but wisdom does go further than knowledge in that it has an element of application associated with it. Leading requires empathy and empathy requires the ability to see a situation from the perspective of another. I personally have learned many lessons in my life but not always the kind of lessons I need in order to have the wisdom to deal with the people I work with.
The simple matter of not having my own children means that many of the challenges my clients face, I have not experienced or learned from. Dealing with an alcoholic partner – nope. Living as an orphan and possibly being adopted – nope. Growing up in extreme poverty – nope. Abusive parents – nope. Relying on public transport every day – nope. Making wrong study or career choices – nope. Feeling stuck and or helpless for extended periods of time – nope.
My career choice however needs me to be able to relate to life and all it brings to everyone I work with.
Time to confess
I love what are commonly referred to as ‘chick flicks’. Real life stories about relationships of all kinds with happy endings, preferably. The happy endings are key for me to learn. Seeing what does not work is common in life. The real thing to look for and to learn from is that hidden gem of a behaviour that is rarely seen but at times so beautifully illustrated in a movie. The rare form of courage, the rare way in which people articulate the most tender of messages, uncommon forms of connecting with others, dealing with being different, rising above challenges, creativity and staying true no matter what. Things do not always go smoothly in these movies – which does give added insight into the power of choice and the need to limit the likelihood of poor decision making. “Chick flicks” are definitely not all plain sailing.
The lessons are there aplenty, if you are willing to look. Look at the expressions, the body language, hear the tones, monitor the responses of all the characters once they go their separate ways. The movie gives us insight to the things we don’t get to see when the people we come into contact with go their own ways. We only get to see what they do when they are in front of us.
So no, I’m not the best horror movie watcher – maybe for me there is too much horror in the world already. Not to say we don’t need to learn how to cope with it or how to decrease it.
Happiness is a right
Give me the family, the team, the friends, the people dealing with everyday challenges and I’m in. Moving your parents into an old age home when it is the right thing for them but they do not agree, coping with reports of bullying from your children at the school they attend, dealing with someone close to you who is wanting a change but does not know where to start, being thrust into a position of authority ill prepared.
Happiness is a right. There can be much suffering in life. Learning the tricks to happiness no matter what comes our way is a lesson worth watching “chick flicks” for.
Great article!…and I love “chick flicks!”