Why You Should Always Learn by Doing

learn by doing

The only way to find out if doing something is a good idea is to do it. The only way to find out if doing something is a bad idea is to do it.

This rule applies to everything; marriage, bungee jumping, working abroad, going on a date, yoga, hosting a dinner party, drinking Guinness, choosing a film on Netflix, everything. You can make educated guesses about what might or might not resonate with you, but the bottom line is that there is no way to truly know unless you take a swing at it yourself.

You can take advice from people as you see fit and there’s nothing wrong with doing som research or dipping your toe in the waters. But ultimately, no-one else can have your experience for you. You have to have it yourself, and whether it’s a good idea or a bad idea, you will be the one who learns from it, whatever the outcome.

It’s no good investing in or clinging to the experiences and testaments of others. If someone you know went through a bitter divorce, you shouldn’t let that put you off the idea of getting married, provided that marriage is an experience that you want in your life. If your best friend tried living and working abroad and endured one nightmare after another, you shouldn’t let that dissuade you from dreaming big and going after something similar yourself. If someone you know watched Mad Max and hated it, don’t let that stop you from watching it. One person doesn’t get to be the spokesman for humanity.

Furthermore, you shouldn’t be afraid to fuck up. It can take a long time and a lot of work before something sticks. Don’t beat your head against a steel wall until it’s bloody, but at the same time don’t wallow in bitterness or self-pity just because you got burned. It’s easy to give up at the first, second or third attempt. Winning doesn’t mean instant success, it means persevering and enduring when things are at their worst before finding something beautiful and meaningful on the other side.

There’s nothing smart or wise about writing off something that you haven’t tried for yourself. Cynicism is an ugly emotion and there’s nothing to be gained from it. It’s the easy way out.

Life is an incredible gift and you have the chance to immerse yourself in all aspects of it. Some of it will be amazing, some of it will taste like dogshit, but all of it can show you something about yourself. Don’t avoid something just because you’re not sure what the outcome will be. It’s a fallacy that you need to have some sort of intuitive assurance before you take that leap of faith.

Appearances can be deceiving. People will vomit out a stream or words and pictures that make it look as if they have their life path figured out, but the reality is that a lot of us don’t really know what we’re doing and have got this far via a combination of trial and error. More of us are winging it than we care to admit. Structure and discipline are vital, but it’s equally vital to remember at all times that life is a fluid process and progress isn’t always linear.

You won’t know unless you do it. And if you haven’t done it yet, give it a go or keep quiet.

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