Books are an easy and fast way to learn from mistakes without making the mistakes and suffering the consequences yourself.
As someone who had believed in the power of self help books almost to a fault, I must say there is advice that is consistent through many books, and reading them repeatedly made me accept it as my “truth”, or more accurately, my “rule”.
But these rules, though not invalid, makes you (too) careful.
Even though there’s nothing stopping you from breaking a rule, it has become a sort of principle that you don’t question. You only explore within the confinements of the framework someone else—someone who has made it their own way—has set for you.
It’s important to understand that these may have worked for a hundred people, but might not work for you.
A common advice is to focus on one thing and be the best at it, but what if you don’t want to go to your grave having built an empire on one thing but never experienced a whole other world of what life could’ve offered you?
Some people, including myself in the past, restrict their curiosity just so they can fit a rule that someone else has established.
Personally, I find story books a more reliable source for these lessons. They do not prop the answer on a plate and spoonfeed you. They do not set rules for you.
Because of their ambiguity and irrelevance, you are able to absorb the lesson through your own lens and evaluation without a higher authority telling you you should do this and that.
Thus the realization comes from within instead of an external voice guiding you down someone else’s path.