Bill Gibson – Don’t Burn The School

How did you get to be where you are at and know what you know? Along with some good choices and lots of hard work and possibly a little luck along the way you also made errors, you made wrong choices, you experienced pain and frustration…in other words you had to experience growing up, you had to experience learning at school, you had to experience romance, relationships, addictions, and other lessons from business and life in general. You were not just told how to do it!

The fact that you and I have learned and possibly graduated from aspects of the “School Of Life” and at times the “School Of Hard Knocks” we still have no right to “Burn The School” and not let others experience and learn from some of the same schools.

In my opinion we need to be patient, kind, understanding and less judgemental with those who are following behind us trying to learn what we have learned. We all want others to not have to learn some of the painful lessons we have learned. It makes common sense and it is reasonable to teach, guide and mentor to help others, for example…like our children, relatives, friends, employees and associates…find an easier route and learn from us and our experiences. Although, there comes a time when we have to realize each and every one of them are also entitled to learn and find their own way by going through similar “Schools Of Life” and “Schools Of Hard Knocks” that we have graduated from.

If we are honest with ourselves, we know that some of our greatest moments of learning and positive change and growth came from some of the toughest moments and situations we experienced along the way.

Empathize, be there for them, while at the same time acknowledge that others have the right to learn from that same school and we don’t have the right to “Burn The School” just because we graduated.

Often when I’m asked for advice, my answer is, “here is my experience with a similar situation although I must say I do not want to insist that this is the answer because there are always exceptions. Consider what I’ve shared with you and then make your own decision. Don’t give your power and future to me. It belongs to you!”

The one great thing about taking into account the advice of others and then making your own decision is, “if it fails you know it was because you chose it.” I’ve found it more heart-breaking when I’ve failed following someone else’s advice. There is great satisfaction in that saying…“well at least I did it my way.” If I’m going to pay for that mistake I want it to be mine! That also goes for your successes as well. Accept the advice; accept the help while at the same time do not give your power of success and failure away. And, remember, failure is part of success…not opposite of success!

Over the years this simple statement “I have no right to burn the school” has made it less painful when I’ve had to stand by and witness others close to me going through some of the pains of learning life’s lessons…while I couldn’t do anything about it and felt helpless. By the way they also are entitled to experience the joys and highs of those schools as well. So don’t “Burn That School” either.

Hopefully this simple little philosophy will also work for you at times that you need it. Have a good week!

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