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"What did you learn today?" is a question we commonly ask our young children or grandchildren as we pick them up from school or share a meal. We may remember being asked that very question by our parents.
 
Somewhere along the line, we stop asking our children that question. Probably about the time they start rolling their eyes at every suggestion we make or every question we ask...just the way we did with our folks.
 
After all the graduating is done and the learning curve slows down a tad, as we begin to work in our chosen fields or the fields that were chosen for us serendipitously, it’s at this point that we are supposed to know it all. Why? Because…well, we graduated from somewhere with a degree or certificate in something.

The learning comes in different forms from a different educational venue altogether called life — also known as The School of Hard Knocks. Stuff happens. And we either learn something from it or we don't. That's when the School of Hard Knocks kicks in — determined to teach us whatever is next in our personal curriculum.

I used to wonder why it was called The School of Hard Knocks. I came to realize that the lessons come knocking softly at first, and when we miss them they knock harder and harder, sometimes knocking us about, determined to get our attention and teach us what we need to learn. Might there be a "School of Soft Knocks?" Perhaps if we were more tuned into what we are meant to learn, the knocks could truly be softer.
 
My mom loaned me a wonderful book called “God Never Blinks: 50 Lessons for Life's Little Detours” by Regina Brett. A cancer survivor, single parent and a columnist for the Ohio’s largest newspaper, Brett decided to take notes from the School of Hard Knocks and write about the lessons her life was teaching her. Here are some of my favorites: 

  • You don't have to win every argument.
  • Don't compare your life to others. You have no idea what their journey is all about.
  • Over-prepare, then go with the flow.
  • What other people think of you is none of your business.
  • Don't take yourself too seriously, because no one else does.

 
What about you? What did you learn today? How will you use your lesson?

Jeanne Gladden

Born to be in business, Jeanne Gladden is a business coach, consultant and educator.

 

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