Learn By Doing

Knowledge gained through firsthand experience and experimentation is going to be far more potent than anything you could read in a textbook or blog. In fact, your brain is wired so that you’ll likely forget these words I’m writing only minutes after reading them. You likely can’t even remember the exact phrasing of the previous sentence. Read it again.

 

However, your brain is structured to link cause and effect, to analyze, and to conceptualize solutions.

 

The problem is we live in a culture that has completely removed any opportunity which allows you to engage in independent learning. Starting in preschool, we are put into classrooms that are insulated from the real world and its experiences, classrooms that are so safe as to not allow for experimentation and observation, where we are instead are told, not shown, the supposed facts and figures of the world. This state continued throughout elementary/primary school, high school, going into college and grad school.

 

Even during the brief glimpses outside the classroom, many guys were told to disregard their personal experiences because they were “anecdotal”, said the academics. (Not all X are like that. You can’t generalize. People are individuals.)

 

It is no surprise then that many new and younger men treat the manosphere as another classroom, where it’s all about learning and comparing notes and not actually walking outside. This is a trend I’ve noticed on Reddit more than anywhere else, where the typical 18-21 year old starts out their sentence with “I’ve been lurking here a while, lifting, reading up on TRP [etc].”

 

Finding out the general and basic information isn’t a problem, and should be encouraged, but our brains have been conditioned by the education system to seek knowledge by third-hand accounts rather than seeing it for yourself. The unconscious expectation is that being passive learner for long enough will eventually get you to the point where you’re an expert, and now finally ready to step outside. You’ve graduated, here’s your diploma, now go do the thing. Why couldn’t I have learned while doing the thing? You weren’t ready.

 

“Being ready” never truly comes because you’ve never gone outside that comfort zone to know if it’s true. You have no way to compare. In the meantime, you learn in perpetuity while nothing gets done.

 

But it wasn’t always this way. Men didn’t have to learn by sitting around and absorbing knowledge like quiet, passive sponges. Many of our grandfathers were done with school by age ten or twelve and earned their skills via apprenticeship. Staying in school past one’s twenties was an exception to the rule. Learning on the job was par for the course in those days, and arguably led to a populace with greater practical skills than today. Part of the learning process comes from taking risks, making mistakes, and learning from them. Conventional schooling has removed those necessary experiences. You need to be able to observe your failure.

 

If you want to become a better writer, because you have all these stories in your head, then put down the writing books and just start writing. If you want to be a better conversationalist then get a job as a salesman or customer service, or some other environment which forces you to talk to people. Me? I’ve gone down both of those paths, and now I’m in the first stages of a science project. How am I doing it? With a book in one hand and a wrench in the other.

 

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