One purpose in life we can all share - To teach
Hello fellow Protagonists,
How many of us have read a blog post, article or book and found it particularly relevant, with golden pieces of information and advice, to then forget all about it soon after. Or, we read something that we think would be very useful at some point for us but just not right now.
Why can something initially perceived as so useful still be forgotten?
I think the answer lies in the reason behind us absorbing that information. That a key purpose of improving our own knowledge and wisdom is to be able to share it with people and support them throughout their own lives.
Think about the sense of purpose we feel when a person tells us that some advice we offered helped them to manage their personal situation to a positive outcome. You tell me that doesn't feel Buff.
Seneca, who has been discussed in a previous post, explained a key reason why he wanted to share his wisdom with his friend. He wrote "Part of my joy in learning is that it puts me in the position to teach; nothing, however outstanding and however helpful, will ever give me any pleasure if the knowledge is to be for my benefit alone."
It would be like keeping all of our cash in an indestructible safe at home, that only we knew the code to. This could become potentially useful but if we were to die any cash that could have been helpful to others, is now of no use to anyone.
I can completely associate with this through my journey and maybe you can as well. When I was younger and started to read non-fiction books it was for the key purpose of trying to better myself. I wanted to be more productive at work, better with my money and generally happier. I was picking up and implementing ideas that maybe did make me a little more productive and built knowledge around personal finance but looking back I do not think that this made me any happier.
This was because I was not digesting and using my new found knowledge to help other people.
As soon as I made a mental shift to start thinking about how pieces of information could help me and also other people in the future, the changes were instant. I found that I was finding articles and books more relevant and interesting in general, so therefore more likely for me to properly digest and be able to recall what was being written. This only improved further after starting The Daily Buff. Anything I read I now have an additional part of my mind asking "What would people reading The Daily Buff find helpful from this?"
This is not only related to knowledge and wisdom from written items but also from our personal experiences.
I love reading and it can be quite an expensive hobby. I buy most of my books second hand, to save on the cost and get the most use out of it from an environmental stance. I highly recommend World of Books (nothing in it for me in recommending this) and also apps designed to buy and sell from each other. Some things understandably get worse with time and considering buying new is a valid choice.
One piece of knowledge I want to share with you today is that a second hand book is even better than buying it new, especially if somebody has been through it with a pencil and ruler underlining sentences that stand out to them and making their own notes. It can lead me to think "Why have they underlined that point? I wonder what they saw in this that I may not yet see?"
Also recently I have been reading through a second hand book where the previous owner has scribbled their opinions on what the author has been writing about. Sometimes a strong "No!" is etched on the edges of the page, which made me chuckle.
For my fellow nerds out there an additional piece of advice just for you is that I assumed games I played as a child would be a breeze nowadays with my "matured brain". I finally got round to buying the Crash Bandicoot remake, soaking up the nostalgia, and it is just as hard as it was back then. Old does not mean worse and new does not mean better.
We need to think about how we go on to teach other people. Offering advice without a request for it could be irritating for people rather than supportive. The reason why cold callers are not always welcomed with open arms and a cup of tea.
Being able to teach in a time of need is something we can all do to add further purpose into our lives.
So what useful piece of knowledge have you gained you would like to share?