Continual self-improvement! The self-help industry is eating the world.
Everyone seems to be writing ‘Experience Posts’ about learning.
Learning from everything, from everyone, from the bountiful world around us. Self-improvement by learning from experience. It’s like an existentialist’s wet dream – everyone is obsessed with learning from their own experiences, and then writing about them. Like a Human Centipede of second-hand experiences.
Maybe I don’t want to continually self-improve.
What am I improving for, anyway? My day at work tomorrow? World War III? My one shot at the champ?
Most ‘Here’s what I learnt from X’ posts are written as if from beyond the grave – the author writes like they have passed through some experience that separates them from the rest of us and has emerged, deified and purified, on the other side.
Three types of awful Experience Posts:
1. Crappy project posts, where the author writes about some project they did – usually one that was ill-conceived and poorly executed so they’re trying to salvage something from the wreckage
-> See 10 Things I Learnt From Me In TV
2. Celebrity ass-worship posts, in which the author writes about how someone famous/successful has deigned to provide them with valuable life lessons
-> See Lady Gaga, let me in!
3. Inspired by the little people posts, in which the author writes how they have found a deeper truth in the eyes of a starving child (no mention of how they left them for dead though)
-> See Why work experience doesn’t work
All three of those examples are my own posts.
Sorry about those. Please don’t actually read them. If I write any more I’m going to move to wherever they cut your hands off for stealing and go straight out on the rob.
It is possible to write interesting Experience Posts. But you have to share the lessons learned from moments of doubt and pain and fear. Those are the moments when you really learn. When hubris and ego are stripped bare and your ugly naked soul is exposed.
Take a picture of yourself right there and tell us what happened.