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Ben Franklin has a saying "experience keeps a dear school but a fool will learn at no other". In other words, seek wisdom and experience vicariously, and as Isaac Newton said, "stand on the shoulders of giants". The word vicarious means "experienced in the imagination through the feelings or actions of another person".

But there's a cost to vicarious experience when we start to derive feelings of fulfillment ("being in the game") from success stories at the neglect of reaching for our own. A telltale sign is when people start calling Steve Jobs "Jobs" or Bob Dylan "Dylan", as if they know them. Don't live in the movies. The real world is a better movie.

There's a Biblical saying that goes something like this "the Kingdom of Heaven is not a matter of talk, but of power". The earthly realm is certainly no different. Use vicarious experience to gain wisdom, not to trigger endorphins. Keep your head down, your mouth shut, and get on with your own business.




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