By: Darrelyn L. Tutt

A shared experience has the power to expand growth, inspire thought, foster intimacy, and forge change.
Consider the impact of this short "life experience" shared by Tony Robbins (master motivational coach) in his book "Awaken the Giant Within".
 Record three observations.
"When I was about eleven or twelve, I didn't consider beer an alcoholic drink. After all, my dad drank beer, and he didn't get that obnoxious or disgusting. Plus, I linked pleasure to drinking because I wanted to be just like Dad.
One day I asked my mom for a 'brew.' She began arguing that it wasn't good for me. But trying to convince me when my mind was made up, when my observations of my father so clearly contradicted her, was not going to work. We don't believe what we hear; rather, we are certain that our perceptions are accurate, and I was certain that day that drinking beer was the next step in my personal growth. Finally, my mom realized I'd probably drink somewhere else if she didn't give me an experience I wouldn't forget. At some level, she must have known she had to change what I associated to beer.
So she said, 'Okay, you want to drink beer like your Dad? Then you've really got to drink beer just like your dad.'
I said, 'Well, what does that mean?'
She said, 'You've got to drink a whole six-pack.'
I said, 'No problem.'
She said, 'You've got to drink it right here.'
When I took my first sip, it tasted disgusting, nothing like what I'd anticipated. Of course, I wouldn't admit it at the time because, after all, my pride was on the line. So I took a few more sips. After finishing one beer I said,
'Now I'm really full, Mom.'
She said, 'No, here's another one,' and popped it open.
After the third or fourth can, I started feeling sick to my stomach. I'm sure you can guess what happened next: I threw up all over myself and the kitchen table. It was disgusting and so was cleaning up the mess! I immediately linked the smell of beer to the vomit and the horrible feelings. I no longer had an intellectual association to what drinking beer meant. I now had an emotional association in my nervous system, a gut-level neuro-association, one that would clearly guide my future decisions. As a result, I've never had even a sip  of beer since!"
This story is totally impacting to me.
By indulging in it, it becomes an intoxicating learning experience of my own.
Three reflective insights offered:
1) "Felt" Impact.
 When we implement a strategy in problem solving that involves experience of some kind, the "felt" impact is more exhilarated and prolonged, charged with forcible and positive residual affects in the future.
A school book, rule, or academic expression does not wield the power of a life experience.
Questions: How can I concretely utilize "my" life experiences to help others?
How can I effectively bridge learning with experience for the effects of empowerment?
2) Drinking and Linking.
Tony indentified an early "drinking" experience to a "linking" experience with his father. He wanted to connect on an experiental level to someone he admired, valued, and loved.
His mother, in my estimation, wisely implemented a lesson of impact in her son in order to help him disengage from a potentially catastrophic life.
Questions: What negative or positive behaviors have I adapted in order to "link" myself with someone I love and admire?
What behaviors might others work to adapt (negative and positive) in order to link up with "me?"
Hmmm ...
3) Negative to Positive.
Never underestimate the power of a negative experience and its ability to produce transformational and positive end results.
Tony's experience of a "beer binge" early in life left an impact of positive and life-altering implications in his future.
Questions: Where have I witnessed great positives on the heels of great negatives?
How effectively do I help others see positives in their negatives?
We grow through a wide variety of experiences and, when we utilize our experiences (negative and positive) for the profiting and good of others, something very positive and life-changing happens.
God's glory shines in a fresh and realized way,
when we're willing to share ...
a brew or two.