Learn From People Who DO; Not Those Who “Preach”

Learn from people who do

When it comes to valuable skills and training, we must learn from people who successfully executed what we aim to learn. And avoid those who can only talk about it.

The other day I heard about a new marketing trick that many newsletters use to collect new subscribers.

When I looked at the website of the service, I saw they featured a few prominent newsletters as “users” of them. So I thought, “Let me see what that looks like on their websites.”

Guess what?! The first two I checked didn’t even use the service. They might’ve used it at some point, but they weren’t using it at the time I checked.

I decided to not look into the service for one reason: Actions are more important than words.

The out-of-shape personal trainer

Would you trust a personal trainer who’s out of shape? What about a writer who doesn’t have books with good reviews and sales numbers? When you ask people that question, most folks say:

“No. I’d rather listen to the person who practices what they preach.”

But here’s something funny. We often ask our peers for advice.

The first time I noticed this weird trait was when I started lifting weights when I was 16. All of the teenagers were giving each other advice in the gym.

“You need to work out 2 times a day, drink 3 protein shakes, and take 10 grams of creatine every day!”

I always thought those guys were weird. I preferred to ask the owner of the gym. A guy in his fifties who actually wasn’t “jacked,” but looked normal. I learned more about working out from him than my meathead friends.

The availability bias

Why do people still ask their peers or folks they know? The availability bias might explain why.

The availability bias is a cognitive phenomenon that occurs when people make decisions based on information that is readily available in their memory.

This mental shortcut can lead to wrong conclusions, as it does not factor in all relevant data or context. I also see the same phenomenon in learning from others or asking for advice.

We tend to go to the people who are available to us. But those people are often not the best at what they do.

In fact, people in our environment usually have no idea what they are talking about. They are not any smarter than you.

To reduce the risk of falling prey to availability bias, seek out data from QUALITY sources. And the best sources are the ones who are widely considered as the best.

For example, what’s the best source for news and information on the economy?

You’re probably thinking of the WSJ.

By understanding the availability bias, we can avoid getting fooled. We always need to question the source of our information, especially when it comes to learning.

How to learn by simply observing successful people

Studying the habits and techniques of successful people can be a great way to learn new skills, gain insight, and improve your effectiveness.

By observing how they accomplish their goals, you can develop an understanding of their strategies and apply them to your own life.

Here are some brief tips for effective observation:

  1. Pick one or two people who have achieved success in the area you want to learn more about. This will help ensure that you don’t get overwhelmed with too much information.
  2. Observe and take notes on what they do. Paying special attention to any patterns or trends in their practices and behaviors.
  3. Ask yourself: “How might I replicate what this person is doing?” or “What lesson can I learn from this person’s approach?” Make sure to look at the actions of the person. Some people are not even aware of what makes them successful. This is called the attribution bias.
  4. Make an effort to try out what you observe. Experiment with different techniques and approaches that you’ve observed until something works for you.
  5. Share your observations with others. Not only will this help other people grow, but it may also give you further insights into your own learning process.

By taking the time to observe successful people, we can learn useful lessons and improve our understanding of our chosen field or activity.

It’s a much more effective way than learning from average people. Learn from the best to become the best.

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