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August 11, 2011



Depends. Experience can be an asset or a liability. If one spends time to understand the changing environment and then utilize his experience it can be an asset. Contrary if one sticks to his old paradigms and refuses to understand the realities, impsoing past experience will not be effective.


So I read this quote,

“There are people that believe that the end is near. I believe that what is happening is not the end, but a new beginning, a shift in the way we live. Jobs are scarce, the US government has raised the debt ceiling, and we are being forced to change our daily habits. Does that mean we are close to the end?
Not in my opinion. We are just having to learn a new way."

I recently picked up a book and one section was dedicated to the “inside view” meaning just because we want it to happen (a favorable outcome), does not mean it is going to happen. A quick review of gambling would confirm this for most as they don’t build those huge buildings in Vegas by people being winners.

What I believe is many, perhaps two-thirds, in this country (individuals and government alike) have went through a period thinking they can spend as much as they want with absolutely no concern about the future when the bills come due. Now it is not yet “doom and gloom” time. In fact, I think the next couple of years will be better as debt levels come down and the economy improves, however, the fundamental problem (entitlements) has not been addressed and when the boomers begin retiring in waves and Medicare costs, municipal and state pensions, etc. begin to skyrocket, there will be doom and gloom and the end will not be far away (by the end of this decade). I believe we cannot afford to wait to seriously address this problem (spending cuts, revamped tax code, VAT, etc.). One cannot wait for the water to retreat from the beach to begin running away from a Tsunami (nobody can run that fast and nobody can fix the economy that fast, we will be covered in a sea of debt and death will be quick and nasty). Yes, I think we need to be forced to change our daily habits and prepare now, just as a squirrel prepares for winter, or we will not get through it alive. The world has a tendency to teach such harsh lessons as experience by many has shown us in the past.

There are some things (of old) which do work time and time again and serve us well. One of them is faith as it teaches responsibility for one’s actions, but we should also remember it promises accountability for one’s actions.

Have a good day,


So True " our experiences can keep us from acknowledging the conditions currently in front of us. Often our experiences lead us to focus on the harsh realities rather than the possibilities for change and growth. Especially in today's climate, not taking any action and continuing to proceed in the same way is a prison unto itself."

micro CEO

It is neither an easy or an obvious choice to accept rapid change even when it stares one in the face.

This summer marks the 66 anniversary of the end of WW2. From what I have read, in Japan there had developed over a period of many years a militaristic culture that seemed to value only blind faith and sacrifice in the name of country. Early military victories against Russia and forays in SE Asia may have boosted military clout and confidence. I really don't know the details, but I do know that throughout the war, the ones in Japan who suffered the most to support this were ordinary citizens, women, children, and elderly. In addition to sacrificing men and boys to military service, the people had to forgo materials, food, everything. The government and military subjected their own people to the greatest suffering. This tragic situation is carefully depicted in the animation film "Grave of the Fireflies".

Fastforward to the 21st century. Japan not only survived; It has thrived. Faced with sudden and rapid change under the US occupation, surely some refused to accept change that flew in the face of everything they had been taught. Such people died, while the next generation were able to adapt and embrace the new reality.
The miracle of people, especially young people, is that they enable societies to change, to move beyond the biases and experiences that would otherwise hinder us. Those who are willing to walk into change (against own better judgement and advice of others) are the survivors.


As I see if from the storyline how for Rawicz “his dreams of escape, his research and experience come to a head in that pivotal moment”; he gained his freedom; where for Khabarov “in fearful and convinced by his experiences that their plan will not work” didn’t get the freedom….. may be in can for some or some time, but in most cases I do NOT think it’s only “our experiences that define us and also hold us to outdated beliefs and focusing on what can't work rather than what will”; but rather, I think it’s our convictions, commitment, and desire rules and drive us in achieving what we want in any conditions, including in rapidly changing environment. Our past experiences mainly serves as a guide (and if/how we choose to use it) for what to do or don’t from lesions learned from it to achier our goals/objectives.

Good article and hope to see more coming in the future … regardless… we agree or not on those points, it sure achiever its key goal of “pondering”.
Take care!

Good friend

I would alternatively propose that experience is not what held him back but view of what is an acceptable outcome. Both need to comprehend and anticipate the dangers as any good problem solvers and both “adjusted” the risk to suit their acceptable outcome—one cannot live within the status quo—the prison-- despite the ridiculous odds while the other found living inside the prison better option than taking the risk to be free. Different risk profiles, different vision of the end 


This one hits a chord for me. My younger son tells me I am not letting him experience life and make his own mistakes/ It irks him that while he was growing up I let him do everything- My boys surf, snow board, mountain bike, drive thru dust rain and snow storms( in spite of being brought up in AZ)- you name it. BUT when it come to college/future planning, I am constantly on their backs about what to major in- why not to study Philosophy or Evolutionary Biology.What will "guarantee" a good future. He tells me, my experiences were for "that" time and That place in India. What makes them completely applicable today? And when I think about it- I agree. Our experiences have defined us, Why should they define the next generation? Why should they not think for themeselves? In fact, they need to think differently if they want to survive today. If one can fall/ fail and get up and make it, they are better off than one who never tries something new, and fails/falls because he/she heeds every "word of experience".

UD (additional comment)

BTW, my reflection to this storyline is similar to yours in relation to us dealing with changes that are going on around all of us these days, and how we react to it and take best course of action/s as an individual and collectively as a nation as well as the world, to gain the freedom from current unrest from all sorts of things! Our experiences will teach us (if you chose to) what to do, and our internal desire, conviction and commitment to ourselves for better life and pursuit for happiness that will drive us humans to act accordingly for dealing with challenges and changes upon us in today’s climate, as it always has done so historically, with different or similar challenges and changes.


PS: I would apply the same thoughts at work.Just because someone has been in that job for XXX years- they don't know "Best" Sure- they know a lot, But not everything. So Speak up. Put your ideas in front of people.Why should only Apple get the credit for having Creative people? We have them too!. Use the experience as you would a trail guide- to caution you of potential risks, but you will need to take your own leaps and scramble to get to the top of that hill.


I think beliefs are our filters in how we see the world. Changing our beliefs is very hard, because it has emanated from one thought we had in our past and we have justified it since then through our experiences. Being open to contrasting viewpoints and having a trust worthy team of well wishers is one way to break your wrong beliefs.

Ronak shodhan

This reflection is a tricky one. I would like to modify the title line as follows:

In time of rapid change, one must not rigidly hold on to the lessons learnt from the experience.

Let experience be your guide, but keep your eyes always on the goal.


Both your Friday Reflection and my Daily OM note reminded me that all of us are evolving creatures, constantly shedding and yet hanging onto our old self. 

From: DailyOM: [email protected]
August 12, 2011
Set Yourself Free
Letting Go of Perfection
Life becomes much more interesting once we let go of our quest for perfection and aspire for imperfection instead.

It is good to remember that one of our goals in life is to not be perfect. We often lose track of this aspiration. When we make mistakes, we think that we are failing or not measuring up. But if life is about experimenting, experiencing, and learning, then to be imperfect is a prerequisite. Life becomes much more interesting once we let go of our quest for perfection and aspire for imperfection instead.

This doesn’t mean that we don’t strive to be our best. We simply accept that there is no such thing as perfection—especially in life. All living things are in a ceaseless state of movement. Even as you read this, your hair is growing, your cells are dying and being reborn, and your blood is moving through your veins. Your life changes more than it stays the same. Perfection may happen in a moment, but it will not last because it is an impermanent state. Trying to hold on to perfection or forcing it to happen causes frustration and unhappiness.

In spite of this, many of us are in the habit of trying to be perfect. One way to nudge ourselves out of this tendency is to look at our lives and notice that no one is judging us to see whether or not we are perfect. Sometimes, perfectionism is a holdover from our childhood—an ideal we inherited from a demanding parent. We are adults now, and we can choose to let go of the need to perform for someone else’s approval. Similarly, we can choose to experience the universe as a loving place where we are free to be imperfect. Once we realize this, we can begin to take ourselves less seriously and have more fun. Imperfection is inherent to being human. By embracing your imperfections, you embrace yourself.

Rajiv Shah

I wanted to thank everyone for their comments, insight, and stories. This is what Friday Reflections is for - a platform where we can discuss ideas even if they are different than our own.

Much like our family rides we used to take that sparked the idea for Friday Reflections, our family often had differing experiences and points of view. The point was that we not always agree, but that we contribute to the discussion, and learn from one another's experiences.

Please keep contributing your thoughts every week, I learn a lot from them and they often help with writing future reflections. Thank you for your continued support and I look forward to your comments next week.

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