I follow Steven Barnes, and he made some interesting observations about life that I'll quote here based on Rocketman.
2. YOU WILL LEARN LESSONS. You are enrolled in a full-time, informal school called life. Each day in this school you will have the opportunity to learn lessons. You may like the lessons or think them irrelevant and stupid.
3. THERE ARE NO MISTAKES, ONLY LESSONS. Growth is a process of trial and error, experimentation. The “failed” experiments are as much a part of the process as the experiment that ultimately “works”.
4. A LESSON IS REPEATED UNTIL IT IS LEARNED. A lesson will be presented to you in various forms until you have learned it. Then you can go on to the next lesson.
5. LEARNING LESSONS DOES NOT END. There is no part of life that does not contain its lessons. If you are alive, there are lessons to be learned.
The final step is that the Student becomes the Master and shares his experience with others that are still trying to master the process.
@Eric Franklin - I'd agree to say the least. I love his novels (especially the Lion's Blood series) and have just learned a lot in following him about writing and what it takes to succeed, and about myself. I wish I'd been able to take classes like that under his instruction.