Valuable life lessons through hindsight

- August 2021
Seeing life's lessons in hindsight

I learned some valuable life lessons this week, all from something silly on my part.

Last Sunday afternoon I sat my glasses on top of the car while I loaded things into the back. As I did it, my inner voice screamed ‘don’t forget to pick up your glasses because it will be really bad if you leave them there’.

You know where this is heading.

I forgot my glasses and drove off. Amazingly, they stayed on the car roof for about a kilometre until I got to a busy road – Murphy’s law (that Murphy person has a lot to answer for if you ask me).

Watching in the rear view mirror as my glasses crashed to the road and bounced along was like watching a slow motion crash in a movie. I knew it wouldn’t end well but I couldn’t look away.

After a bit of self-directed emotion (disbelief, anger, feeling sorry for myself), I stepped back and decided to look for the lessons.

Small decisions have a big impact

I have difficulty doing some things without my glasses, especially working on screens. So the small decision to put my glasses on top of the car was about to have big impact on my work. What made it worse is that I didn’t need hindsight to understand that – I had the foresight to know it but I ignored the inner voice giving me that advice.

Lesson #1: Don’t ignore foresight. Act on that inner voice to avoid a whole lot of inconvenience.

Do it now

I updated the lenses in my glasses only four months ago. I was going to get a second set of glasses at the time but reasoned that I’d get used to the new lenses before I organised the spare set. Then I got busy with life and it became one of those ‘I’ll do that soon’ things.

Lesson #2: Just do it now. Get rid of that ‘one day soon’ list and do it now.

The value of personal service

I’ve seen a local Optometrist for a long time – a small, family owned business. I prefer to deal with small businesses when I can.

However, because I knew it was going to be so difficult to work on Monday morning, I wanted to solve the situation as quickly as possible. So on Sunday afternoon I visited two major eyewear chains and was advised that, due to the impacts of the Sydney lockdown, it would take between two and three weeks to get new lenses.

First thing Monday morning I rang my Optometrist expecting the same answer. You can’t believe my relief when they had my lenses in stock and they could see me immediately. I drove straight there, chose new frames and had my new glasses by lunchtime! Two sets in fact, I learned lesson #2 and bought a spare pair right then and there.

Lesson #3: There is huge value in personalised service from a local business. They know me and have my back when I really need it.

So it’s been an expensive week so far, both in terms of money and inconvenience. However the life lessons have been valuable. At this point, the value has outweighed the cost.

Geoff Fisher is a Principal at Parbery and leads our creative capability. He has many years of executive level experience in strategic communication, change and creative roles. 

Photo by MontyLov on Unsplash