Gaining Wisdom from the Mistakes of Others 
Tuesday, July 28, 2009 at 10:10PM
Heather Hardison

Have you heard the phrase, “They have to learn from their own mistakes?” I’ve been thinking about this concept for a while now, and I have determined that it would be so much more sensible to learn from others’ mistakes. This has been my motto for the past few years. I observe others, and I really listen to what people around me have to say about their life experiences. I listen to their regrets, what struggles they have gone through, what they have found that works or doesn’t work for various issues, what they would have done differently and of course what they would avoid altogether had they known then what they know now. I value this information and I use it in my everyday life now. You wouldn’t believe how much time and suffering you can save yourself if you open your ears to those around you that have more life experience than you do. I consider them experts in life lessons. And the best part about this, is that all this knowledge is free. Most people want to share these words of advice with others if it means someone would benefit from their experience. Many people seem to be in their own worlds these days, and it seems they feel they will just learn from whatever life throws at them. But I say a wiser person would listen to those who have faced these same struggles before and gain as much knowledge as we can from as many people as we can. This way we can side step many of the obstacles that life throws our way. I don’t know about you, but life is hard enough as it is so I am happy to find any way I can to make things a little easier. Who says wisdom has to come from the number of years we have walked this earth or the number of problems we have solved. I say wisdom comes from the number of lessons that we have learned whether that be from personal experience or from gaining advice from others. If I can learn from someone else’s mistake and avoid having to experience that pain and consequence myself then that seems wise to me.

Quote “The way of a fool seems right to him, but a wise man listens to advice.”


Article originally appeared on Dr. Heather Hardison (
See website for complete article licensing information.