I get asked all the time what is the best advice you have ever been given? I also like to ask this question of others. Learning from another’s journey is like gold. Everyone has something to share and when we open up our ears and be intentional about our own personal growth, discovering wisdom from others is one of the best ways to grow.However, the best advice I was give didn’t come in the form of someone sharing their wisdom with me but rather it came in the form of a question.

I remember I had gone through a really rough season in 2012. We had no money and I had just left a job and had no other opportunity to step into.  The environment I was in was so toxic and I just needed to get out.  The months went on and we were facing some very tough times financially and some of our friendships had suffered due to my exit at the job I had left. It was a hard season and we had no idea what to expect.

We had a friend over for dinner to catch up. What I thought would be a time of me sharing and getting a listening ear turned out to be something else. She looked at me and didn’t ask me about how I felt or what had happened. Instead, she asked me a question. It stopped me in my tracks. She simply asked me,  “What did you learn’?

Image by Janko Ferlic.

Image by Janko Ferlic.

WOW! This took me back. It wasn’t a time to gain pity, share a struggle or wallow in sorrow. Rather it was an opportunity to evaluate the situation, examine my own self and ask, what did this season teach me? What did I learn about myself? What did I learn about others? What did I do right? What could I have done better? How can I move forward? These are questions we can be asking ourselves instead of pointing fingers at others. It is easy to get stuck in a cycle of being hurt in the past, but learning from it and getting better was going to help me move forward. 

I realized in that moment that everything in life, the good, the bad the ugly is a learning curve and an opportunity to grow. Everything in life is meant to teach us something.

From the relationships that hurt the most when you least expect it to the times when people may lie about you and try and destroy your reputation. These are moments for you to step back and learn. Not defend, not fight but grow and become the person you are called to be. Your character will speak for itself.

Life is the greatest teacher and every day we can learn through circumstances, our own failures and the others around us. We can either let everything in our life break us and make us bitter or we can gleam from every moment and use every experience to learn.

Those who choose to become a student of life will rise beyond and succeed in everything they do.

Image by Alex Knighth.

Image by Alex Knighth.

An entrepreneur, creator, father & husband from Calgary, Scott Bakken is inspiring a generation of creatives to live their best life.