You will have many experiences in life; some joyful, some frightening, some profound, and most forgettable.
You will learn much by trial and error; interactions with teachers, mentors, family, and peers will also impart lessons. All experiences and lessons worth remembering, even the bad ones, will have some value.
As often as practical, look at each experience you have as an opportunity for learning. No matter how you feel about an experience, you always have the capacity to draw something positive from it. If you have a positive experience, revel in it, and aim to duplicate it in the future.
If you fail to land a job, experience a bad relationship, or receive a speeding ticket, try to put a positive spin on it. For example, you can work to improve your resume and interviewing skills in order to snag your next job.
You can be secure in the knowledge that you have discovered what kind of partner is not right for you and use a past relationship as a guide to improve the next one. You can learn to slow down a bit, both on the road and off. Something positive can come out of almost any situation.
Also, realize that you can learn something from every single person on the planet. Never write people off because they are too old, too young, too rich, too poor, too weird, or too normal. The world is our classroom, and we are all students of one another. You'll be surprised by the wisdom you can gain by simply listening, with an undiscriminating ear, to nearly everyone who crosses your path.
Jeff Davidson is "The Work-Life Balance Expert®" and the premier thought leader on work-life balance, integration, and harmony. Jeff speaks to organizations that seek to enhance their overall productivity by improving the effectiveness of their people. He is the author of Breathing Space, Simpler Living, Dial it Down, and Everyday Project Management. Visit www.BreathingSpace.com