People who write books or teach usually base their writing or instruction on one of three sources:
- Imagination: They write or teach what they imagine something to be like. Purely hypothetical.
- Research: They interview others in person or via what they’re written, and then draw conclusions from other’s experience. They don’t have the experience themselves.
- Experience (of the personal kind): They’ve been out and done it, lived it, and pass on their personal experience.
I’m not interested in hearing the opinions of groups 1 or 2. However, I am deeply interested in hearing about someone’s experience. As a result of the popularity of survival tv, questionable books, etc., many people have developed opinions on topics where they have no experience. With the case of survival tv, these opinions are based on fabricated situations designed for the camera, not reality.
I’m not disparaging research as I consider it to be valuable. Rather, I’m calling into question the opinion of the researcher for whom the research is an abstract intellectual exercise.
This is one reason that Mors Kochanski is so revered; his book and teachings come from decades of experience, not imagination or research.
Authenticity is about coming from experience and being honest. After 19 years in the field, I’m not dealing in hypotheticals. I teach and guide based on experience. It’s also how we design our programs, as a place where people can get that first-hand experience.
Be careful where you get your information. Be sure the source is trusted and experienced.