A lion doesn’t have to learn to be a lion. It is born knowing everything it needs to know to be a successful lion. It doesn’t get sent off to lion school to be taught what it means to be a lion or what it needs to do.
This is true of all the animals on earth, with the exception of we humans. We are born knowing nothing about what it takes to be a successful human. We are born with none of the collected wisdom of all the humans that have come before us pre-installed; we have to learn it all ourselves.
The Easy Way
One way we learn is through the successes and failures of those who have come before us. The things that others have done to lead a successful life provide clues about what beliefs and actions produce the results we might want. And other people’s failures provide lessons about what doesn’t work and things to be avoided.
You can read and study the beliefs and actions that lead to success or failure, and you can also observe the people around you to pick up these lessons. Studying success can help you learn what to do, and the studying failures can help you avoid mistakes.
The Hard Way
But that isn’t the way we usually learn. We usually learn through our own experiences. The way we often learn is by placing our own hand on the hot stove. We have to see for ourselves why we shouldn’t touch the fire, so we ignore the collected wisdom of the ages and repeat the mistakes ourselves. We get burned.
- You weren’t the first person to spend more money than you had and found themselves in serious financial trouble, even though we have known for a millennia that this is not the recipe for success.
- You weren’t the first person to take a salary from the money invested in your new startup only to run out of runway and crash and burn. Lots of entrepreneurs have left a warning, along with a graveyard of good ideas that never made it to market.
- You absolutely weren’t the first person to ignore your parents warning and fall in with a bad crowd only to find yourself in deeper trouble than you could handle. I wasn’t the first person either, but I did demonstrate some mastery here.
- You are not the first person to waste a good part of your life fooling around before you stumble upon your real mission later than you wished. Many others have come before you.
You are one of the majority of us who have ignored the wisdom and the warnings of those who have come before us and made the mistakes that have brought you whatever wisdom you have accumulated. This is how we learn, and it is your job to share that wisdom with others so they don’t make the same mistakes and so you can shorten their learning curve.
Most of what you share will be ignored, and those with whom you share it will set out to repeat your mistakes on their own. But not to worry’ we’ve been repeating this pattern with some success for a long time.