When I was at college I decided that I wanted to launch a business. I had a great idea and a plan, so I thought that my next best move would be to pitch it to a professor I had a good relationship and ask him for advice. He could’ve said me that my business idea was about to fail. Actually it was a 99% likelihood. Instead, he didn’t. He said, good luck!
He knew I wasn’t going to listen anyway, so he decided that, for my own good, it was better to let me crash and learn from it, rather than telling me what to do. And I’m glad he did.
Just like parents should let their kids experiment (unless of course they risk their lives), people should let other people experiment and fail by themselves. A kid is not stupid, with the first wound that kid will learn how to think by herself. So does a grown up.
Isn’t discipline teaching?
“Many parents think that when they judge and punish, they are teaching, as in «I’ll teach you a lesson you’ll never forget.» What are they teaching? They are teaching their children that if they go against the parents’ rules or values, they’ll be judged and punished. They’re not teaching their children how to think through the issues and come to ethical, mature decisions on their own.” —Carol S. Dweck.
As this paragraph—extracted from Mindset—shows, the lessons that will never get forgotten are the lessons that are never told.
There are times when advicing and giving your honest opinion is critical, and in fact it can save a lot of pain. However, with the right circumstances a crash is the best way to learn something.
That’s how we learn. Go.