“Direct experience remains the most powerful teacher, but a book can provide a map of the territory, a preparation that enables us to learn more from our experience. A book can point the way, but we must still make the journey. So we don’t really have to choose between books and direct experience. Rather, the wisest course means choosing both. Our life experience may remain challenging, but we learn more from it.
It may take years of experience to integrate into one’s life the principles and practices learned from books. Our receptiveness and interests change over time as life teaches us, and humbles us. No matter what we may have learned in books, it is the nature of life that we lose face before we find wisdom, fall to our knees before we look up to the heavens, and face our darkness before we see the light. Each of us wanders through the wilderness of experience to gather worldly wisdom. Everything we encounter serves in its own way. We succeed by failing, learn by our mistakes, and rise to great heights by a winding staircase.”
Dan Millman, in “Living on Purpose”
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