It occurred to me this morning that I love learning, but I don’t like learning from example.
This means I like learning new ideas, but I don’t find it as useful to try and learn from how other people applied the idea.
This is why I don’t like reading books that are filled with client examples. They show you how other people applied the idea- but these people are not me.
They don’t have the same strengths or weaknesses, the same insecurities or confidences, or the same life experience or work experience.
At best, knowing how somebody did something is only good as a sense of successive approximation- how I might get close to those results- but my results will never be the same.
This means that everything I learn, I need to test out for myself. I need to find out if it holds true for my business, my life, my approach.
The other problem with examples, in my opinion, is that people accept these wholesale and in a cookie-cutter way. That never works for me.
I can’t know that for sure by reading ten, one hundred or even one thousand of examples of how other people applied the idea.
I don’t find it motivating to know others have done something. I find it inspiring to know that I can.
I know that sometimes I make things more difficult because I have to test it out for myself. But the upside is that once I test it for myself, I know it.
And once I know it, I can adapt it and apply it to other situations that are relevant now or that come up in the future.
Why accept examples of what’s possible for others when you can know something for sure for yourself?