Tag: experience

Everyone has something to teach

As someone who is apparently in a microgeneration between Generation X and Millennials, I feel constantly the tension between the “old ways” of doing things and the “throwing things against the wall to see what sticks” approach.

This article frames the issue nicely: everyone has something to teach, no matter whether you’re the person with lots of experience to share, or the person with the new approach.

Light patterns

Gaining experience takes time, effort, and often comes at the price of making painful mistakes. You don’t want to let those lessons go. You want them to mean something, to help you from making the same painful mistakes again. To help others from making the same mistakes you made. So it will always be the case that those with the most experience – and the good, smart, accurate wisdom that comes from it – will be the least willing to adapt their views as the world evolves.

Neither should be the case, because every generation cycles through the same process. Today’s older generation once understood the world better than their parents, who scoffed at them. Today’s younger generation will one day be stuck in the antiquated norms of their past, and their kids will scoff at them. I can imagine my son in 80 years screaming, “Get off my metaverse lawn!”

One takeaway from this is that no age has a monopoly on insight, and different levels of experience offer different kinds of lessons. Vishal Khandelwal recently wrote that old guys don’t understand tech, but young guys don’t understand risk. Another way to put it is: everyone has something to teach.

Source: Experts From A World That No Longer Exists · Collaborative Fund

Image: CC BY Tea, two sugars

3 ways to live a happier life

Useful reminders in this article from Arthur C. Brooks for The Atlantic that neophilia (openness to new experiences) is key to improving our happiness.

First, regularly interrogate your tastes, and run experiments. One common misconception is that our preferences are set in stone and there’s no use trying to change them—especially as we age and become grumpier about new things. The data don’t support this assumption. Indeed, some studies show that older workers are more open than their younger colleagues to changes in their job responsibilities. Meanwhile, our senses of taste and smell tend to dull as we age, making us more or less attracted to certain foods.

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Second, make a point of choosing curiosity over comfort. Write up a list of new experiences and ideas you’ve yet to try, and explore one per week. They don’t have to be big things. Perhaps you never read fiction, not because you don’t like to but because you are more accustomed to biographies; pick up a novel. If you usually watch an old favorite movie instead of something new, or choose the same vacation spot every year, be sure to branch out.

Third, avoid the trap of newness for its own sake. If you’re pretty neophilic, you might already be taking the suggestions above, and reaping the rewards. But you might also be prone to restlessness and instability, and look to material novelty for a quick fix. In this case, try resetting your satisfaction with a “consumption fast”: Don’t buy anything inessential for two months. Your focus will likely migrate from online shopping to more satisfying pursuits.

Source: The Happiness Benefits of Trying New Things – The Atlantic

Microcast #079 – information environments

This week’s microcast is about information environments, the difference between technical and ‘people’ skills, and sharing your experience.

Show notes