The Map vs The Path.

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the difference between being an expert on the map and knowing the path.

Ideally, you want to be guided by someone who has been down that specific path one hundred times, not someone who has just studied the map one hundred times.

This is because map experts have what we can term abstract knowledge. They know enough to be convincing, especially to someone who has not studied the map or the path. Generally speaking, these people will always work at either a strategic or advisory level, or they will run workshops and teach.

With the proliferation of the internet in the last few decades, almost anyone can become a superficial expert by reading about the experiences of others, and they’ll be able to list the top ten ways of achieving things, and so on.

The problem is that everything essential is always about the smallest details and the ability to recognize the uniqueness of every situation, distinguish the nuance and have that feedback into your decision-making process.

In other words, the devil is in the details, which makes the difference between someone who knows the map and someone who knows the path.

The former might be able to give you great direction and share inspiring stories, but the latter will get you there because they’ve done it before. They know what to look out for, the challenges you’ll face, and how to help you overcome them.

So, when you’re looking for guidance, make sure you find someone who knows the path, not just the map.

The key question to ask is:

Have they done this before?

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