Remember the park scene in Good Will Hunting where Robin Williams reminds Matt Damon that just because he can quote from books doesn’t mean that he knows what he’s talking about. It’s considered one of the best scenes in (arguably) one of the best movies in cinematic history.

There’s a world of difference between reading something and applying it; anyone can repeat theory, but experience is where you’ll truly learn what it takes to go from point A to point B. Although your neighbor, classmate, or coworker can repeat the words from Mark Cuban’s biography, only Cuban himself truly understands what it took for him to get where he’s at – everyone else is just repeating the story.

Some things need to be experienced to truly be internalized. Here are some things about life (skills, lessons, etc.) that you can’t learn just by reading about them:

reading glasses Lifehack Versability

I’m entirely sure this isn’t how reading glasses are supposed to work…

Reading Can’t Teach You How to Close a Sale…

You can read every sales manual in the world; you can even follow a generic script that’s “guaranteed to work.” All the reading in the world won’t give you the instinct necessary to close a sale and get that payment. If sales were as easy as reading a book, everyone would be selling books on how to sell, and everyone would be buying that book…and it would all just cancel out.

Reading Won’t Teach You How to Leave a Job…

Quitting a job is something that everyone has advice for, but at the end of the day, you just have to do it. Leaving a job is like skydiving in that the anticipation is often worse than the actual event (unless, of course, you die). The butterflies in your stomach, your manager’s reaction – no matter how prepared you think you are, you won’t truly know the effects of quitting your job until you do it.

Reading Doesn’t Teach You How to Write…

Ok, yes…reading does teach literacy, which involves writing as well. What it doesn’t teach you, however, is how to truly open yourself up and write something meaningful – if it were that easy, every wannabe rapper would be on the cover of The Source magazine. The only way to learn how to write is to write…and write…and write…and…well, you get the idea.

Reading Won’t Teach You How to Overcome Failure…

You can read all the steps and how-tos about recovering from failure, learning valuable life lessons on the way, but if it were that easy, there wouldn’t be so many cynics in the world. People are cynical because they’ve failed at something and decided it’s an impossible task not only for them, but for anyone. What lesson you learn from failure depends entirely on how you internalize the lesson and your personal thoughts and feelings are not something you can read about.

Reading Doesn’t Teach You How to Say No…

Rejecting another person is a difficult thing to do, especially when that person is particularly pushy or motivated to convince you. No matter how many books you read about confidence and body language, you have to actually execute it repeatedly if it’s ever going to work.

Reading Can’t Teach Love…

No amount of romance novels, porn, or relationship/dating manuals can explain what it’s like to experience love. When you’re a kid, you think falling in love is everything, and losing that love can feel suffocating and trap you in a mental prison. As you get older, you realize how much heartbreak you face in life – explaining those lessons to a young idealist as you once were, however, is impossible.

As you can see, reading is fundamental, but it doesn’t teach you everything in life. Being well-read is important, and quoting literature is seen as a sign of intelligence in human society. Creating your own story however, is just as important as understanding the stories of others. If you want to be a human being and not just a robot, go out into the world and live, rather than sitting online or in a library, reading about other people’s experiences. You have more to gain than lose.

If you’re one of countless people who don’t make a habit of reading regularly, you might be missing out: reading has a significant number of benefits, and just a few benefits of reading are listed below. 10 Benefits of Reading: Why You Should Read Every Day

Featured photo credit: susivinh via photopin cc

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