I fully believe that mistakes are just mis – takes. They are bumps on our journey that provide an opportunity for learning for growth. 

Some may call them lessons learned. 

But a short blog post made me reconsider when a lesson becomes a lesson learned. 

I don’t remember now when or how I came across dandapani but when I did, I signed up for his blog. When they come, often they contain something that makes me pause. This blog was about the difference between a lesson noted and a lesson learned.


Noted vs. Learned

He suggests that a lesson is noted when we recognize a mistake and we make note of the lesson.

However, the lesson itself is not learned until we are faced with a similar situation in the future, and this time we take a different path. We make a wise choice. Only when this happens can we move the lesson noted to a lesson learned.

He also points out that often, we must note a lesson more than once before we learn it. This means making the mis-take more than once.  

What do you think of this distinction?  

Personally, I thought it brought clarity. 

So many times I have had an experience and noted to myself the lesson. Yet, when I make it again or don’t see the similarities in the circumstances before it is too late I get a bit frustrated with myself.

I also have noticed that the lessons, when they repeat, get bigger. They have a bigger bang, a bigger impact.  I think it’s meant to shove the lesson into my brain. 

This distinction helps me understand all those times I repeated the same error in judgment was because I had not learned the lesson.  I had only noted it. 

I think the goal now is to try to reduce the number of times I have to experience the lesson before learning it. dandapani even suggests that the ideal is to have an experience just once and learn from it. That would be nice, wouldn’t it?

He then suggested that the greater ideal was to learn from an experience that someone else is having. To note it and learn from it through observation. 

My husband laughed at this.  He tells me I seem to insist on learning lessons myself.  I fear he is right. 

What do you think of the distinction between lessons noted and lessons learned? Can you think of times when you really only noted a lesson vs. learned it?

A link to dandpani’s blog for your reference: https://dandapani.org/blog/

Sometimes in life, your situation will keep repeating itself until you learn your lesson.

Brigitte Nicole

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Note:  I originally wrote about a lesson learned vs. learned in November 2020