Little kids are perfect learners.
So perfect in fact that they learn EVERYTHING.
Not just the good stuff.
If you’ve got kids, you know how hard it is to keep them from learning the stuff you DON’T want them to learn.
Stuff that you or your friends (or maybe their older sisters or brothers) do in “secret.”
“I don’t want him to pick up any bad habits” is a common worry among parents.
Being a kid is different than being an adult.
If you are a kid, you can pretty much try ANYTHING, without getting into too much trouble.
Personally, I carried that idea as far as I could.
When I was in high school, my “go to” line when I got into trouble was:
“I thought it was OK?”
But as we move into adulthood, we need to CHOOSE our actions with more foresight.
At least that’s the theory.
We can’t just act and hope for the best.
The sad thing is because we’ve all gone through the mind numbing educational system, we’ve forgotten how we learn naturally.
Which is to model.
Copy the behaviors we want to learn.
However, we DO do this without realizing it.
We STILL pick up behaviors from others, without really knowing.
And every time you learn something from a YouTube instructional video, you’re essentially modeling the person on YouTube.
(At least if you’re following along and not just watching.)
But most people VASTLY underutilize this natural learning skill.
Especially in social situations.
A simple way to model somebody in social situations is to find somebody that does something YOU want to be able to do.
And as you watch them, mentally imagine it’s YOU doing that thing.
You can also model historical figures.
That’s the cool thing about modeling.
Since we’re doing it thoughtfully, as adults, and not mindlessly and automatically, like kids, we can pick and choose the traits we want to copy.
Kind of like if you’d model somebody who has really POWERFUL social skills, but really HORRIBLE taste in clothing.
If he’s wearing a purple jacket with a flashing neon sign on the back, you DON’T have to copy that part.
Only the part you want.
And when it comes to copying certain social behaviors, there is a class of people that are FAR ABOVE everybody else.
If you can do what THEY DO, and apply it to “regular” life, you can CLEAN UP.