Experience — Practice Makes Know-how
It’s easy to read something in a book and call it knowledge; but only when you get your feet wet trying it can you really know it well.
I’ve been thinking a lot lately about what it means to experience something.
It isn’t ever quite like what you thought it’d be. There are always a few surprises.
For example, I remember seeing a client in person for the first time recently (we’d only previously video-conferenced). I hadn’t expected him to be as tall.
But it’s more than appearance. It’s how something is going to be. Have you ever done something new that you had been nervous about and thought, “That wasn’t so hard” or the opposite?
“Of the three ways in which men think that they acquire knowledge of things — authority, reasoning, and experience — only the last is effective and able to bring peace to the intellect.” (Roger Bacon, English philosopher and a major progenitor of modern science.
Over the years, I have gained a completely different outlook on my own profession. I feel like I have a few things figured out that I can’t quite put into words, yet. I’m working on that…
The point is that I can remember a time many years ago when I went out and hung a shingle and told myself that I had to figure it out as I went along.
I’m still doing that. And I’m never going “figure it out” but, I’ll tell you I learn what not to do along the way and that helps me build up my know-how. I wouldn’t be as far along on my never-ending journey to self-actualization as I am if I had never gotten started.
You can always count on learning something when you actually jump in. If you are waiting on something to happen before you take a leap in your life, don’t. Jump in with both feet and you just might gain some know-how.
Originally published at Chris Handy.