Picture this! You are on a tour boat in the everglades, and you can smell the saltwater as you feel the cool breeze off the water on your face. The sky is blue with puffy white clouds, and the other nine people in the boat are pointing to new scenery popping up all around you. You are enjoying this with a big smile on your face. Sea-worn Clyde is your guide. He has confidence, and his quirky personality has your group laughing.
You are cruising along at a good clip. There’s a young eight-year-old boy up front who seems to be having the most fun. He has his left hand over the edge of the boat, skimming the top of the water. You can hear him giggle.
Just then, Clyde pulls back on the throttle, and the boat eases up. Then he makes his way to the front of the boat and pulls out his trusty knife. Clyde excuses himself, leans over the edge of the boat, and clips off a large blade of grass between the knife and his thumb. He carefully motions to the young boy to gently touch the grass he just clipped, without saying much. You see the young boy with his big brown eyes wide open and utterly focused as water drips from his little fingers down his arm. Then you see the young boy curiously and carefully touch the grass. He quickly recoils and turns quickly to his parents in surprise, “Ouch!”
Without a word, Clyde makes his way back to his perch, and the tour continues. You look back, and you notice the boy now safely keeps his hands inside the boat. The experience of touching the sawgrass taught him so much in just a moment.
You and I both know that if Clyde asked the young boy to keep his hands inside the boat, the request would have been short-lived. In just a few minutes, the boy would have had his hands back in the water for sure. He’s a kid. So are we! We forget, and lessons we hear can’t compare to those we experience. Experience is the best teacher. We can listen to other people’s experiences to get direction, but once we gain our own experience, the lesson sticks and carries us further in the direction we want to go.
Clyde knew what he was doing. He had wisdom. We must gain as much wisdom as we can to make it happen-wisdom from experience. We must touch the sawgrass, often, on the way to having our dream. Experience is the greatest teacher.
I’m glad you read this article. I’m thrilled you are reading this. Where do you need more “experience” to get where you want to go?