The ability to see events in the future. We see it in science fiction movies all of the time and I still don’t know how I personally feel about it – is it better to know what is coming or would that actually take some of the fun out of living? I can honestly say that the single hardest thing I have encountered as a mother is that my children seem unable to learn from my experiences. Which got me thinking…
I recently had the privilege of facilitating a group of highly skilled, wicked-smart, diverse people who were brought together for three whirlwind days to discuss some hard topics for the Special Operations community. An ideation session, designed to enable folks from various backgrounds, who see things from different perspectives, to solve a problem. It was amazing.
One area that my team focused on was this idea of precognition, or maybe more heuristics; pulling together the experiences, successes and failures from those who have gone before us in similar situations, and extracting the lessons – both good and bad – to inform our future decisions. Use the past to predict the future, or at least help shape it.
From the hours of conversation, I gleaned the following concepts, things which would have served me well if I had spent some time paying more attention as a younger person:
To learn from our past, we need to remember it. We need a way to more objectively capture the data, to ensure that it is reliably translated into information that can be shared.
We need data. Lots of data. We need enough examples to provide a realistic, statistically significant and relevant data set from which to base our discussions – and ultimately our decisions.
We need to make a determination whether outcomes were judged “good” or “bad”. Interesting to consider whether this will change over time or if the true “morality” of a decision is timeless.
Our exercise had us working in a world where the lessons from past scenarios, whether real or simulated, were cataloged, sorted, and available for reference when a similar situation is encountered all in real-time. What a concept. I can, right.damn.now, see what a complete population of others like me not only WOULD do in a similar situation, but actually DID do in that situation. Mind boggling for sure, and yet, maybe, just maybe, my children would be spared from some of the heartache we all must go through.
I remain intrigued by the stimulating discussion, and am certain to be thinking about this for some time to come, wondering how I can apply these concepts to my daily life to improve things for myself, AND for my children.
Let this be a reminder to us all that all of our experiences, be they successes of failures, are invaluable to us and others but ONLY IF WE LEARN FROM THEM! It is not “Fail fast”, rather, it is “LEARN fast”.
To our futures……