How to Recognize Learning a Lesson

Have you ever had the same situation repeat itself over and over? The same scenario keeps occurring. The people may be different or the location, but you always have the same experience. And the outcome is always the same.

If you don’t become aware of the lesson first time around another opportunity to extract the lesson will be given to you. Moreover, if you don’t learn it the second time around, you will be given another, and another, and another chance, until you finally learn the lesson.    

As adults, we are not exempt from learning the right thing to do or the right way to behave. As children, we were taught right and wrong from our parents, teachers and caregivers, but those opportunities for growth do not end once we reach adulthood. A similar set of circumstances will form repeatedly until the lesson is learned. In childhood we had someone correcting us when the inappropriate behavior was noticed by an adult. 

Recently I watched an episode of Good Times. Yes, I said, “Good Times”! For those that don’t know, it was a sitcom from the mid to late 70’s. In the episode, the mother (Florida) went to dinner with a male friend. At the restaurant, he was rude and impatient. He began complaining to the staff because of the delay in receiving their food. Florida was calm and patient about the delay and tried to convince her date it wasn’t a big deal. The situation escalated to him complaining about the food and then he began to argue with Florida, naming her faults as he saw them. Sarcastically stating she was always so polite, nice and patient. He was rude, insensitive and hurtful toward his date and the wait staff.   

That episode reminded me of a person that continually experiences dissatisfaction in restaurants. Mostly the order not being to this person’s specification. The same scenario is played out repeatedly. The meal gets sent back, the manager is called out, there is complaining about the meal and the service. Everyone else at the table is satisfied with their meal but not this person. It is too much drama and very predictable at this point because it happens repeatedly. The lesson has not been learned yet. The opportunity keeps presenting itself but the behavior is the same. Until the outcome is different and the lesson learned, the same scenario will keep playing out.  

I recently spoke with my children about the movie Groundhog Day. My daughter commented on something that kept repeating and I said that’s like the movie Groundhog Day. I explained to her that he kept repeating the same day over and over. That nothing was different and wouldn’t be different until he changed his behavior.     

Take heed if you seem to be experiencing a repetitive pattern in your life. Do you attract the same type of relationship? Are you struck with a repetitive illness? Are there any situations in your life that seem to keep occurring? Difficulties with co-workers? Maybe it’s time to change your behavior. Notice the pattern, take action, change your response and experience a different outcome.