Experience, Growth and Success
I have seen folks speak of, “Experience”, “Growth” & “Success” all together and jumbled up.
These terms are very important in defining and building a career. To be honest, they are important for anything we do outside work as well. In this article I want to explore, my experience with these terms.
Experience, at least the dictionary definition —
“the things that you have done in your life; the knowledge or skill that you get from seeing or doing something”.
Look closely, definition does not talk neither about “Growth”, or “Success”. Experience, is you going through a job, task or simply doing something. It doesn't warrant you learnt something, doesn't warrant you did it right and even doesn't mean, that was something you wanted to do it and then did it.
I personally defined “experiences” as, exploring different Tasks, Environment, People(TEP) over a period of time. When I feel, I am going through same thing(Monotonous), I tried to change one of the variables to gain new experiences. Personally for me, experience meant, exploring new ways to learn and use this learning to help me grow and use the growth to succeed.
Growth is the result of experience. Just because you went through an experience, it doesn’t warrant, you have grown. Everyone needs to define “Growth”. When you retrospect and put a perspective to an experience, you learn something, this learning is what I call, “Growth”.
A mistake I made earlier was to define this “Growth” single dimensional. When I wrote about “TEP” earlier, I learnt the hard away, You can experience, learn and you can still grown by changing an individual aspect of “TEP”. To be also clear, “Experience” , “Learning” and “Growth” have nothing to do with “Success” or “Failure”. Lookup the definition..
I seen few very senior folks talk about, “Good Decision” and “Bad Decision” in meetings. This sometimes confuses me. I feel, you take a decision and it’s your effort, situation and environment that yield a result. These results are either good or bad based on your definition or “Success”/ “Winning”. So, while decision is a factor for an experience, the goodness or badness gets defined post result. Which means, it was never a factor to start with. It’s a perspective.
Similarly, I have seen “Winning” be confused with “Success”. These both words denote achievements. But we need to be clear when defining these terms for our Goals and Experiences.
Let me explain, I wanted to lose weight and picked up “Boxing”.
Goal: Lose Weight
Growth: Learning Boxing day-in and day-out..
Now let’s define “Success” vs “Winning”..
In perspective of Goal (Winning): If I lose weight over a period of time.
In perspective of Experience(Success): Learn new tricks and techniques of boxing and improving. (This is influenced by your “Growth”)
Make sure, you define both what “Success” and “Winning” means to you. Ensure you celebrate both.
Now the million dollar question, why is this all important. I have seen folks, set out defining Winning Measurements to anything they do. What I want to suggest is, start by defining each of these, “Experience”, “Growth” and “Success” for every thing you do, could be your relationships, your work or simple task. I am sure, you can find a winning perspective almost every time.