Second Hand Knowledge
At one point in my life - and to this day I’m still guilty of this - in conversation and in writing I’d back my ideas with quotes I heard from books, podcasts, and blogs I’ve read.
Then one of my friends gave me advice that changed my life.
During one of our conversation I dropped a quote, he then stopped me and said, “You have a lot of ‘second hand knowledge’, how about speaking from experience instead?”
In retrospect, I realize how annoying it is to constantly quote drop. Sometimes I catch myself doing that in a conversation and it adds unecessary clutter. Plus it sounds straight up obnoxious.
Often, whenever I’m explaining myself I’d quote the source of the information. Perhaps this is school teaching me that this is plagiarism. That if I “stole” an idea I’d get an email from the Prime Minister telling me that I’m getting kicked out of Canada.
Maybe I thought that this would give credibility to what I was saying. This wasn’t my knowledge after all. I had no skin in the game.
Now, rather than quoting I try to take that second hand knowledge and turn it into experience. When it comes from experience now it’s my own wisdom. I’ll phrase how I like, no quotes required.