It might be wrong. But is it useful?

I took a class on effective instruction a few years ago. The most powerful take away was almost a throwaway quote from one of the instructors.

All models are wrong. But some models are useful.

I’ve taken this thought with me far and wide.

Some people don’t believe in the MBTI. Fine. (I do). But even if you disagree with the underpinnings, is the information, self-exploration, and tips for interacting effectively with others useful?

I’ve read books that I might have previous considered ‘flaky.’ New-agey books about presence and intentions. Do I believe in pseudo-science quantum physics? Hell no. But are some of the exercises and arguments useful? Oh yeah.

Even horoscopes and fortune cookies, which I believe to be utter shite, I can read and find use in. Did it trigger an idea for an opportunity? For a conversation I’ve been meaning to have? Did it put a smile on my face?

I have two friends who own “The Secret Language of Birthdays: Your Complete Personology Guide for Each Day of the Year.” Just because you add “ology” onto the end of something, doesn’t make it legitimate.

But reading it is fun! And I find it useful.

It triggers reflections, which I love because…introvert.

Here are some gems from my birthday page.

Those born on September 9 repeatedly face all kinds of demanding situations, usually more the product of their own complicated nature than of fate. If they could learn to more often take the path of least resistance, and not invariably the most difficulty way, they could lead much more peaceful but perhaps less eventful lives.

Like when I’m doing something and think to myself “there’s gotta be a better way to do this” and I spend 4 hours researching that thing, when it would have taken me just 30 min to do it the first, if inefficient, way.

There is no doubt that September 9 people are drawn to challenges. Easily bored, they find it insufferable to just sit back and do the same predictably rewarding (or unrewarding) things year after year. Consequently, they are either consciously or unconsciously on the lookout for complex people, places and things with which to become involved.

Like why I’m drawn to independent self-employment, seeking out new and interesting experiences to jump in and out of. And how I yearn for more opportunities to be surrounded by intelligent and fascinating people to learn from and be inspired by.

Life can be a constant battle for many September 9 people against their fears and insecurities. Strangely enough, such fears can drive them on to be surprisingly successful. This is another reason why challenges have such a powerful stimulating effect on them.

‘Successful’ is a fluid term. But I’ve done pretty well on my own (work-wise) the past 4 years. I constantly have to push aside insecurities, questions about what people think of me, and just do and achieve. I love taking something I’ve never done before, say “hmm, I could do that” and do it. Even if that thing is springboard diving.

Building your self-confidence is a big item. Allow for reflection; then find your real abilities and act on them decisively. Worry and few will eat you up if you let them; you alone hold yourself back.

As I’ve come to repeat as my mantra: Spend time on your purpose, not your personal issues that hold you back from your purpose.

Irritation is something you do to yourself.

Yes, indeed Birthday book, you’ve given me some things to think about.

What do you find wrong, but useful?