Direct Experience Is Not Always The Best Teacher

A client was stuck. Frustrated. Life was not going well. I gave her some advice which she refused because she liked to learn the hard way- through experience. Many people tell me they like to learn the hard way, to learn from experience, and that is why they have a difficult time following advice, or even, a course of study. They feel they need to experience something to really lear it. I ask such people if they had to reinvent language to learn how to speak, or reinvent the automobile to learn how to drive a car. I point out that they learned language with the guidance and help of others, even if it was just having a model to copy. By shifting perspective it is easier to see the fallacy of their belief. Not every ounce of wisdom has to be gleaned from direct experience. I don’t need to have AIDS to know I don’t want to catch it. I don’t need to be mangled in a car accident to know I want learn to avoid it.

One thought on “Direct Experience Is Not Always The Best Teacher

  1. May

    I was just talking to my group of friends and told them let’s not re-invent the wheel, but take the foundation of something already invented (bones) and add the substance (meat) and make it our own (and share the meal). “Learning the hard way,” is sometimes our excuse for not wanting to face our fears until forced to. Thanks for sharing!

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