Pick any activity, related or not to communication, we tend to do it like this:
1. Get some knowledge
2. Get some more knowledge
3. Attend seminars and lectures to expand our knowledge
4. Write on forums and blogs about what we know
5. Take praises for our knowledge
6. Pass some sort of examination of our knowledge
7. We’re done
Sounds familiar? Sure it does, that’s how we’re educated since primary school.
So there’s little to none pressure on exercising, on actual “muscle” of whatever you’re educating yourself to do. We can agree on that it is bad and educational systems of the world are obsolete. Especially when information is cheap or free.
The new wave of practical gurus
New gurus are pretty much old motivational and sales gurus dressed up in new trends of entrepreneurship. The value is the same – they’ll motivate you to get up and try, give you top 5 mistakes of whatever the skill, put an emphasis on that you should forget all of your MBA. And so on and so forth.
Don’t get me wrong, I do respect their success, their business thesis, hard work they’ve put to be what they are. Besides that I really admire that those gurus really want to help others live more fulfilled lives. But they’re painting also only a caricature of reality.
I do hate the fact that academies and universities work on obsolete models. Often, professors don’t have a clue what the reality looks like. I really hate the fact that people pay so much for so little added value.
On the other side – practical gurus live in different reality also. They’re not take into account much of subtleties that build human experience.
Life, social interactions (from global economy to interactions within your family) are based on set of simple rules, but in the end aggregate of those interactions create irresolvable complexity. There are three things I would like you to be wary of in that context:
1. Academics work on often outdated or plainly wrong assumptions about social reality (like economy). I don’t care if you’re on Harvard or local community college, if you study social sciences or MBA program – they don’t have much more clue about final complexity of reality than you have.
2. Practical guru often base on wishful premise called: “If I could, then you definitely can” and put that into all contexts they want. Whether it’s applicable or not.
3. Are there values and personal rules worthy of pursuing? Logic suggest that yes, there are. Are there certainties in inherently uncertain social reality? On level of basic statements yes.
So skill of knowledge?
Basic knowledge, hands-on experience and questioning what you know and adopted. The time you think you’ve figured it out should be the alarming signal.
- Przemek Kucia
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