“Always Have Your Guinea Pigs” (Wiser Next Week: On Learning)

"Always Have Your Guinea Pigs" (Wiser Next Week: On Learning)

About the Wiser Next Week Series: These entries will involve posting my book, Wiser Next Week, chapter by chapter, freely available to the public. Additionally, I’ll be recounting a story about something I’ve learned based on the chapter’s topic since the months that have past when the book was published in December 2018.


Leveraging Experience

When I was in college, I held a couple jobs. One of which was as a “runner” in my school’s dining hall. Basically, I cleaned, served food, refilled foodstuffs (beverage machines and sauces) and any other supporting service that didn’t involve cooking. Besides working and mooching free food, I got to know a lot of the other people that worked there, especially the older cooks and why they were working a low wage job at an advanced age. But that’s for another discussion.

One of the cooks that was there was an undergrad student like me and by coincidence we were both part of the accounting program.

As such we shared many of the same classes. It was the beginning of the semester so our class schedules weren’t set yet. We were swapping tales about our classes during some down time in the dining hall.

I brought up one accounting elective I was enrolled in and how much work it was. The student cook replied,

“Yo man there’s another accounting elective you can take instead, it’s with this lawyer dude and he’s super chill. It’s one 3 hour class a week but he let’s you out early and there’s no homework. Easy A.”

I had no idea this class existed. This other student had no reason to lie to me so I took the leap of faith and switched classes. And he was right, easy A. I just sat around and sorta paid attention for 2 hours a week. It allowed me to reallocate time for the nightmarishly difficult accounting class I had.

The principle I leveraged was this:

There are common pitfalls to be observed, noted, and avoided. Leverage the experience of others to your advantage by making it part of your own curriculum. Take note on what has worked for those who achieved the things you want before you versus what has not, and integrate it into your own system. Remember that the purpose of learning is to help you get what you want.

One of my inspirations for learning new things.

Use Guinea Pigs

Even if you are the adventurous type like me, there is no way that you will be the pioneer for everything. So if you are going after X but have not done so yet, the information you have at your disposal will be inferior to someone that has been there done that.

So the logical thing to do is to take the experience they have from actually doing the task and add it to your own arsenal of tools.

I have never met a man so ignorant that I couldn't learn something from him. Galileo Galilei design by Kingston S. Lim

Here is the “On Learning chapter of Wiser Next Week. Take it and implement it into your own life.


Previous Chapters

“I Didn’t Know How to Do Laundry” Wiser Next Week Intro

“The Spray & Pray Teacher” Wiser Next Week: On Emotions

“Show Them Your Greatness” Wiser Next Week: On Fear

“Psychological Ownership” Wiser Next Week: On Loyalty

“Strategically Smile to Get What You Want” (Wiser Next Week: On Happiness)

“Your Body is a Car” (Wiser Next Week: On Health)

“The Gift of Time and Age”(Wiser Next Week: On Aging & Death)

“Project Your Life 5 Years Ahead” (Wiser Next Week: On Regrets)

“You’re Doing it Wrong” (Wiser Next Week: On Mistakes and Failures)

“Align Principles With Action” (Wiser Next Week: On Goals and Persistence)

Action is Courage (Wiser Next Week: On Persistence)

”See Things As They Are, Not How You Wish Them To Be” (Wiser Next Week: On Perception)

“Grab It By The Reins”(Wiser Next Week: On Opportunities)

“Ask And You Shall Receive”(Wiser Next Week: On Finding Solutions)

“A Part of What You Earn Is Yours to Keep” (Wiser Next Week: On Money)

“The 5 Principles of Entrepreneurship” (Wiser Next Week: On Entrepreneurship)

“Making A Living Vs. Making a Life” (Wiser Next Week: On Work and Career)

“Why Do Things You Suck At?”(Wiser Next Week: On Prioritizing)

“We Become What We Think About” (Wiser Next Week: On the Controllable and Uncontrollable)

“Check Your Adjectives”(Wiser Next Week: On Attitude)

“When Lightning Strikes Twice” (Wiser Next Week: On Change)

“Reap A Destiny” (Wiser Next Week: On Habit, Motivation & Willpower)

“Linking Theory With Practicality” (Wiser Next Week: On Decision Making)

“Budget Your Life” (Wiser Next Week: On Time)


3 thoughts on ““Always Have Your Guinea Pigs” (Wiser Next Week: On Learning)

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