A great man by the name of Jim Rohn once said we should never try to ‘get through’ an experience, but instead we should be aiming to ‘get from’ an experience.
Smart man that Jim Rohn…
By getting through an experience we are essentially waiting it out, and then when it is over we simply move on to whatever comes next. What I’m suggesting in today’s article is that we revel in the experience regardless of what it is and take several steps to ensure we get as much ‘FROM’ it as possible.
Here is what I mean.
Let’s say the experience is a negative one such as getting an injury while training. The automatic reaction to this may be frustration and impatience at how long it may be before you can train again. Instead we could choose to feel that injury and get to know it well.
- How does it limit you?
- What can you do and what can’t you do?
- Importantly, why did it happen and what steps can you take to ensure it doesn’t happen again?
- If you can’t train, what other productive activities can you do with your training time that may be of benefit to you (or others)?
After the injury has healed, the final and perhaps most important step in ‘Getting From’ the experience is the REFLECTION. Remember having to write a reflective journal about something at school? There was a reason for that. Reflection forces us to ‘Get From’ an experience by making us think deeply about what we learned and how that new understanding can be applied. Reflection is the thing that turns an experience into new knowledge.
Another example could be a hard training session such as running hills. We’ve all at some stage been pushing up a steep hill thinking to ourselves “when is this thing going to end?”. Well if we take the approach of ‘Getting From’ the hill, we should be doing the following:
- Think about each step having a cumulative effect of strengthening your legs for better performance in the future – therefore more hill = better preparation.
- Yes it hurts, but being underdone on race day will hurt more.
- Why is this session so hard? What has been missing in your training program?
- Are you enjoying the scenery? (Which usually gets better the further up a hill you go…)
- Take note of which muscles in particular are fatiguing first and consider what else you could do to strengthen them in addition to your hill runs.
- Could you run any faster right now? If so, do it.
- Above all else, remember that you are there running up that hill because you chose to, and you chose to because you love running. So love it!
- When that hill is finished, remember the experience / learning circle hasn’t been completed until you reflect on it. Think about what just happened and what you learned. What steps do you need to take now to make sure that it was a worthwhile experience?
I urge you to not only think about ‘Getting From’ in your training, but also in everything you do. If we approach each new day with – “I wonder what I can GET FROM this day’, imagine the potential.