The Art of Strengths Coaching

E is for Gathering Experience, Making Sense Of Experience And Passing On Experience

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There are many models for understanding how people share knowledge with others.

Life is often a process of gathering experience, making sense of experience and passing on experience. Let’s explore how you may follow this process in your own way.

Going Through These
Stages In The Past

Different people follow this approach in different ways. Some reframe their own challenging experiences, for example, as an opportunity to help other people.

Looking back at your own life, when have you passed on the knowledge you used to overcome a setback?

You may have overcome an illness, recovered from losing a job, persisted to eventually pass an exam, dealt with a disappointment or whatever.

What did you do to gather information, explore the possibilities and move forward? How did you pursue your chosen path? How did you then aim to pass on your experience to other people?

Looking at my own life, for example, I was fortunate to get an early diagnosis for prostate cancer. It was then possible to explore the various non-invasive treatments and get help from a superb surgeon.

Soon after the diagnosis I created a blog to provide information for other men going on a similar journey and, fortunately, it proved helpful to some of them. Here is a link to the information.

https://www.thepositiveencourager.global/category/prostate-awareness/

People also often want to share knowledge about positive things in life. They love to share practical tools that others can use to improve their health, do satisfying work, build pioneering businesses or whatever.

Mark Evans is somebody who has followed this path in his life and work. He loves to gather and pass on experience about animals and wildlife.

He was working as the Chief Vet for the RSPCA in the UK when he and I did some work together. Mark later returned to making gripping television programmes that educate people about animals.

mark-evans-ing

Adventurous by nature, he immerses himself in potentially dangerous situations. On one assignment in Namibia he was injured by a crocodile, but he carried on talking to camera as the blood poured down his face.

The incident led to vivid photographs being published in national newspapers. But Mark had sympathy for the crocodile. Writing on his Facebook page, he explained:

Inevitably the crocodile injury was the news. No big deal. Croc was 9. It had spent all its life in a concrete pen. We were giving it some freedom to begin a new life.

Mark continues to embark on the cycle of gathering, clarifying and sharing experience. He is committed to helping people learn about how to respect and co-exist with animals. You can discover more via the following links.

http://www.markevans.co.uk/

https://www.facebook.com/MarkEvansTV

Let’s return to your own life and work. If you wish, try tackling the exercise on this theme. This invites you to do the following things.

Describe a specific time when you went through the process of gathering experience, making sense of experience and passing on experience.

Describe the specific things you did then to go through these stages.

Describe the specific benefits of going through these stages – both for yourself and maybe for other people.

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Going Through These
Stages In The Future

Looking ahead, can you think of a situation where you might go through these stages again in the future?

During the past few decades, for example, many people have shared their experience about ways to enjoy life after retiring from full-time work.

Barrie Hopson and Mike Scally are following this route. During the 1970s they pioneered the teaching of lifeskills in schools. These helped young people to learn, for example:

How to make decisions.
How to communicate.
How to build relationships.
How to manage time.
How to manage money.
How to deal with disappointment.
How to manage transitions.
How to do fulfilling work.

Barrie and Mike now provide knowledge that people can use during what used to be called retirement. Looking at his own contribution as an educator over the years, Barrie explained:

“My main life theme has been helping people to become architects of their own futures.”

Sometimes we can look ahead and anticipate topics where we might be able to pass on knowledge to other people. Sometimes we cannot be sure what will happen, only that we will aim to do our best in the situation.

Doctor Jill Bolte Taylor, for example, could not have anticipated what she would experience. Here is an extract from her website.

http://drjilltaylor.com/index.html

She was a 37-year-old Harvard-trained and published brain scientist when a blood vessel exploded in her brain. 

Through the eyes of a curious neuroanatomist, she watched her mind completely deteriorate whereby she could not walk, talk, read, write, or recall any of her life.

Because of her understanding of how the brain works, her respect for the cells composing her human form, and an amazing mother, Jill completely recovered her mind, brain and body. 

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In My Stroke of Insight: A Brain Scientist’s Personal Journey, Jill shares with us her recommendations for recovery and the insight she gained into the unique functions of the right and left hemispheres of her brain. 

Having lost the categorizing, organizing, describing, judging and critically analyzing skills of her left brain, along with its language centers and thus ego center, Jill’s consciousness shifted away from normal reality. 

In the absence of her left brain’s neural circuitry, her consciousness shifted into present moment thinking whereby she experienced herself “at one with the universe.

Based upon her academic training and personal experience, Jill helps others not only rebuild their brains from trauma, but helps those of us with normal brains better understand how we can ‘tend the garden of our minds’ to maximize our quality of life. 

Looking ahead, it is not possible to predict what you will encounter in the future. You may have some idea about the projects you want to do, however, or what you may experience at various stages of your life.

Sometimes life is just to be lived. Sometimes people like to learn from what is happening and pass on this knowledge to other people.

If you wish, try tackling the exercise on this theme. This invites you to do the following things.

Describe a specific time in the future when you may go through the process of gathering experience, making sense of experience and passing on experience.

Describe the specific things you can do to go through these stages.

Describe the specific benefits of going through these stages – both for yourself and maybe for other people.

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