Experience is what you get when you don't get what you want.
December 2, 2009 — How many times have you struggled towards a goal only to come up short? How many times have bad things happened to you that you wish hadn't happened? If you're like me, the answer to both of those is: a lot.
But luckily you always get something when you don't get what you want. You get experience. Experience is data. When accumulated and analyzed, it can be incredibly valuable.
To be successful in life you need to have good things happen to you. Some people call this "good luck". Luck is a confusing term. It was created by people who don't think clearly. Forget about the term "luck". There is not "good luck" and "bad luck". Instead, "good things happen", and "bad things happen". Your life is a constant bombardment of things happening, good and bad. Occasionally, despite making bad decisions steadily, some people have good things happen to them. But in most cases to have good things happen to you, you've got to make a steady stream of good decisions.
You've got to see patterns in the world and recognize cause and effect. You've got to think through your actions and foresee how each action you take will affect the chances of "good things happening" versus "bad things happening" down the line.
When you're fresh out of the gate, it's hard to make those predictions. You just don't have any data so you can't analyze cause and effect appropriately. But once you're out there attempting things, even if you screw up or don't get what you want, you get experience. You get data to use to make better decisions in the future.