Length of Past Experience (=Time spent) as a poor indicator of future success in organizations
Time spent at a job is a very poor predictor of performance. For instance, in organizations, when H.R. people scan a C.V. and look at how long a person has worked on a particular job. Common sense would want a person with 25 years of experience to do a better job than an intern who just came in 3 months ago. Yet, that is not always the case, as research confirms. (It also confirms that it is a mistake to downgrade people during the hiring process who have jumped from job to job !)
A lot of people, operating at an unconscious level, have developed a resistance to change. They have been repeating the same patterns for the last 25 years. They are resistant to innovation, because they fight (unknowingly) to keep a Fixed Mindset. In contrast, the intern might arrive with a beginner’s mind (or as the title of Shunryu Suzuki’s book has it, a Zen Mind), and a proper Growth Mindset (see Carol Dweck’s work and a good explanation here). It will be only a few more months until they outsmart the person with more experience.
In an ideal organization, we can tap into the strength of both experience and novelty.
Are you looking at time or experience to enjoy life?
Another take on time and experience relates more directly to our experience as human beings, and the subjective perception of time.
A simple example of that happened in Munich. I had the choice of using public transportation here, riding a bike, or renting an electric scooter. I notice that when I choose to ride the bike, I feel 100 times better than when I simply take public transportation. I love to use my body and enjoy the ride, rather than sitting passively and waiting for the subway to take me to destination. On one or two occasions, I felt too tired to ride the bike, or my body didn’t feel like putting in any extra effort. So with self-compassion, I chose to rent an electric scooter (which is also carbon neutral ! Thank you Tier !). The experience felt great. So my invitation is to think/feel life in terms of experience, not in terms of time. When you look at google maps, it only indicates: “14mins to destination” or “25mins”, but you can’t know whether that experience will be pleasant or a pain in the butt. The other day, I rode the bike with my sister to go to a park, even though deep inside I felt like relaxing and going at my own pace. It was greatly unpleasant, although it was “only a 14min ride”. We went up a bridge, people were honking, there was Friday evening traffic, and I felt tired …
The same goes with jobs we select. A person I was coaching told me about one of her classmates (she is completing an Executive Masters degree) who has a top position in a pharmaceutical company. He earns 200K€/year. Yet, in my view, he is a slave to his job, has to attend meetings he doesn’t feel like, fly all over the world. That is absolutely not a lifestyle I would want for myself, that’s a Hell No, even for 200K.
On the opposite side of the spectrum, every other week, I am meeting with a group of coaches, who are each deeply spiritual. We meet for 90 minutes, which are out of time and out of space. It is timeless. It is a precious experience.
Last Saturday, I hung out in Munich, alone, doing nothing special. I felt free, abundant, and it was a lovely experience. I was free to wander in a shop, and gift myself a few sweet clothes, and let the rest of the day unfold: call a dear friend from California, and allow myself to go with the flow with no commitments for the rest of the day. I went on a date with myself that evening, and watched Dune, the movie. A remarkable movie I highly recommend. (If you have never dated yourself, I highly recommend that too, it’s a great way to develop self-love).
All this is summarized in Fraisse’s Law, that I described in How to become a Time Master.
How long do you want to live?
The same concept of Time vs. Experience go for how long do you want to live.
Is it really about the number of years? Or is it about the number of years well lived?
Most people are dead before they biologically die. Most people are dead because they are asleep.
I could die tomorrow as long as I have lived presently today. I would be happy to live till 138 if my experience is full, and I have a lot to give. When I see some elderly people, I feel a lot of compassion for them, and I don’t want to be like them. Living till 80 to gossip, be bitter about life and in extremely poor health, giving nothing back to the community and humanity, that is a poor way to live (my opinion, my standards). If you are in your 20’s or your 30’s, you are already preparing for your 80’s or your 100’s (if not more).
Here is how I want to live:
Be wise, compassionate, highly awake and advanced in my Yogic practice, in excellent physical, mental, emotional and spiritual condition.
I cultivate that every day already, and have been doing so since my 20s.
How do YOU want to live when you are 80 or more?