Why You Should Learn From Others’ Experiences Too

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Riding a motorcycle through winding roads on a mountain. Trekking a hill to reach the top just to enjoy the beautiful view that awaits. Your first flight. Jumping from an airplane, diving through the open sky and landing with the help of a parachute. Visiting different countries and subjecting yourself to different cultures. Falling in love with that one crazy person who means the world to you.

Well, these are some of the things that you should experience yourself. But in a lifespan of 75 years, not everything can be experienced by you personally. On the other hand, in order to experience life as mentioned above, you need to start living. The faster you do that, the more you can experience.

When you look for a job, experience is the first thing that comes to question. Nowadays, even education can easily be compensated for experience in the job market.

It is a common belief that experience comes with age and the older you get, the wiser you are. That might sound right, for someone in the 20th century.

“Child is the Father of Man”

— William Wordsworth

You cannot agree lesser that the younger generation is more advanced in thinking and acting than the older ones. While millennials may not be good with the traditional way of doing things, they are disrupting them for good.

Millennials are good at making choices. They prefer minimalism and choose to live in smaller houses. Many are now choosing not to have children of their own. They are also more open to buying ‘used’ things rather than new ones.

But why and how do they make these choices? The answer is simple — they learn it from their parents. Growing up, they learned that their parents struggled paying mortgages for bigger houses. They learned that parents spent a lot of time and money investing education on their children and this did not even guarantee that they would have a future.

Millennials are also more interested in buying used products rather than new ones because to them, utility is all that matters. These are some examples to prove that experience does not always come with age.

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The learning curve is a graphical representation of your learning capacity, usually measured against time (experience). The general learning curve gradually increases with time and then reaches a saturation point, after which it comes down a bit.

This is because you have learned enough about the subject that you do not really want to learn more. However, if you accelerate your learning process, you will reach the saturation point quicker, since you will learn more in a lesser time period.

The traditional learning curve works in such a way that learning increases with experience. But that is not synonymous anymore, both in the workplace and your personal life. To stand out from the rest, you have to adopt the accelerated learning curve. Here, you do learn more in a short period of time, meaning that even though your experience is less, your knowledge is more.

The concept of ‘learning from others’ experiences’ might seem to be odd, but if you notice your day-to-day activities, you are actually learning from someone’s experiences involuntarily.

Say, for example, your neighbor is a car mechanic and your car is making weird noises. If you ask your neighbor to take a look at it, he will tell you what the problem is. The next time your car makes the same noise, you will know what the problem is.

People write biographies and movies are made just so that one can learn from a person’s lifetime experience and that is something to be really treasured. People may consider biographies ‘boring’, but if it is something you are interested in, it will never be boring.

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It might take a few days to read a book, but now, we have media (videos and podcasts) to help you learn a lot in just a few minutes. If a person is giving a Ted talk, they are sharing their experience. We end up listening to podcasts where people just ramble, but there are also quality podcasts where experiences are shared.

When doing your research, consult someone who has experience in the area. Say, for example you are buying a car of a specific make and model. If you would find someone who owns the same car, won’t you get their feedback? Again, this is something we do everyday. Eventually, you are learning from others’ experiences.

Find a mentor if you want to learn something. All they do is use their experience to guide you. When you implement that and use it to make a better version of yourself, you are already on the accelerated learning curve. Once you begin doing that, you get to use your time efficiently by making wiser decisions and your life happens to get a whole new perspective. And that’s why it’s never a bad idea to learn from someone else, whether their experience is good or bad!

Living, learning and inspiring, one quarter mile at a time.

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