Lessons Learned

I was a full time corporate employee for many years just teaching at night and weekends. The Project Management Institute where I was certified highly recommended doing a lessons learned after each project. On their website, pmi.org, a survey showed 84% of the time project teams are NOT given any time for lessons learned. When I was an IT project manager and we would complete a project, there were often ten more big projects in the que. I would ask for a lessons learned but we would be pushed on to the next project that was already behind schedule.

I journal occasionally to reflect on events. I’m also excited as to start the new year I’m taking an email assignment class from Kirpalu where I have studied yoga. The series called Reflect and Renew will have the first assignment of an assessment of the past year. This has been a very different and challenging year. Do you have any unique lessons learned?

I think many of us don’t like reflection as it can be approached as what were my mistakes? Thinking about mistakes can make us feel bad. Here are two Merriam Webster definitions of reflection. I like the second one a lot better. “1) an often obscure or indirect criticism :REPROACH a reflection on his character” 2) a thought, idea, or opinion formed or a remark made as a result of meditation”

I’ve done a lot of lessons learned since I started my own business. I frame the categories as things I want to stay the same, things I want to do less of and things I want to do more of. I don’t refer to mistakes. For example in my business things I definitely want to do less of including spilling a liquid into the keyboard of my laptop. (Have done that once a year the last two years.) Every year a “more of” is a deeper connection with students. However the virus put a stop to the meet and greets we would have after some of our classes. So that one needs some work.

Above is a sign I saw at French Park last spring. We have to do the same loop over until we learn the lesson. You might have heard the joke, I never make the same mistake twice, I make it five or six times just to be sure! You might have also heard the saying hindsight is 20/20 vision. This year 2020 was so very different I have a lot to reflect upon. I had some reactions to events that I don’t understand yet.

If we don’t spend time in looking at what we have done, we are more likely to repeat some patterns that don’t serve us. When I was younger I would often jump from one relationship to another without doing a lessons learned. In reflection I saw I kept repeating some family patterns that were not what I wanted. Winter can be a great time for reflection. Also not just the end of the year, your birthday can also be a great time to reflect and make positive changes for a better next year.

“Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards.”
― Søren Kierkegaard