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John Adair's 100 Greatest Ideas for Smart Decision Making by John Adair

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Idea 96: Learning from experience

I have learned throughout my life as a composer chiefly through my mistakes and pursuits of false assumptions, not by my exposure to founts of wisdom and knowledge.

Igor Stravinsky, Russian composer

Can you learn to have better judgement? The answer is plainly yes, because we do in fact get better at decision making. You will learn comparatively little from the decisions you get right; a great deal, however, from the decisions you got wrong.

The key to learning is to identify – in your own reflective thinking or with the help of others – the lessons that this unpleasant experience has to teach you. It is by this method that you build up your own body of knowledge about how to think clearly, to make decisions ...

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