I spent three hours of the past two days learning a valuable lesson.

My experience will save me two hours and 50 minutes next week.

My wife and I house sit in Brooklyn, NYC for three weeks now. My responsibilities include moving the homeowner’s car for street cleaning purposes. I received the simple advice to look for spots early in the afternoon. But my experience proved to be quite different.

First off, I never drove a key-less car before. I spent 45 minutes trying to start the thing before figuring out pressing the brake and pushing the start button fires up the engine. I needed that experience. Nobody offered me the advice.

After starting the car, I drove around Brooklyn for one hour to find a spot. I learned a new lesson from my experience. Leave your parking spot immediately after the street sweeper exits the alternate side of the street to find a new spot quickly.

I gained my third and final parking lesson today. I pulled out immediately after the street cleaner plowed through the street at 11:40 AM. But the traffic cop told me I had to wait until 1 PM to park on the other side of the road. So I spent 90 minutes circling the alternate side of the street like a vulture, finally parking at 1 PM. Ultimately, the three hours of experience I gained taught me a lesson. Next week, I only need to spend 10 minutes before 1 PM moving the car from one side to the alternate side of the street because people change sides around that time.

Experience Instills Trust

I appreciate the home owners but I learned nothing from their advice save looking for a spot early in the afternoon. Let’s chalk it up to miscommunication and assumption.

I learned valuable lessons by gaining three hours of experience observing the alternate side of the street rules from a first person perspective. Parking illegally for 10-15 minutes at a clip, I saw the traffic cop ticket parked cars on the cleaning side after the street sweeper moved through. He completed another sweep 45 minutes later to ticket motorists parking illegally before 1 PM. Don’t worry; I sneakily drove away 🙂

Another traffic cop drove down the street at 12:20 PM. NYC traffic police enforce laws strictly. Lesson learned.

Only five people parked on the cleaned side before 1 PM. I will change sides next week at 12:50 PM for a short, sweet, 10 minute job. But three hours of real world, first person experience taught me this lesson. Even if someone offered me excellent advice mirroring my experience I’d still need that critical, first hand experience to 100% trust in the process.

The Buddha implored people not to trust his advice implicitly. He advised followers to put his advice into practice. People trust advice fully after reaping the benefits of the advice through personal experience. Recall your most powerful life lessons. Every genuinely memorable lesson sprouts from intimate, first person experience.

Life is no spectator sport. Dive in. Get in the game. Pile up precious experiences to learn invaluable lessons.

I’d still be driving around Brooklyn now if I did not learn critical lessons from my experience.

Put advice into action immediately. Test. Learn important lessons from personal experience.

Ryan Biddulph is a blogger, author and world traveler who’s been featured on Richard Branson’s Virgin Blog, Forbes, Fox News, Entrepreneur, Positively Positive, Life Hack, John Chow Dot Com and Neil Patel Dot Com. He has written and self-published 126 bite-sized eBooks on Amazon. Ryan can help you build a successful blog at Blogging From Paradise.


Image courtesy of Zachary Tan.