After larger projects I try to pause and ask myself two questions; 1) what do I (we) do right and want to be sure I (we) do again? 2) what would I (we) like to do differently?
These two questions can be summarized as, “what did I learn?” I was speaking with a friend recently. She’s had chronic issues with her shoulder, which led her to going to a physical therapist twice a week and doing exercises twice a day. The intensive effort really helped and her shoulder started to feel better.
Eventually, life got in the way. Her shoulder had largely stopped hurting as well. She cut back on the exercises and stopped going to the therapist altogether. After a few weeks her shoulder started hurting again. She told me she learned that she shouldn’t have done all those exercises because her shoulder hurt again.
I’m glad she asked herself the learning question but I’m not sure she came away with the best possible answer. Perhaps a better answer was that the exercises made her shoulder feel better, so keep doing the exercises.
Questions are powerful but be sure to spend a little time checking if you answer is as good as it can be.