I Made a Big Mistake


Hey friends,

I made a big mistake in my first year of clinical medicine, which completely changed the way I learn stuff.

At this point, I’d done 3 years of undergraduate medicine and had a solid understanding of the basic science behind how the human body works. But, my 4th year (doing clinical medicine for the first time) was my first real-life experience of actually being in a hospital and working with patients.

Eager to do my job well, I decided to memorise the Oxford Handbook of Clinical Medicine – the bible of clinical medicine. My thinking was that if I knew all the information in the book I’d have all the knowledge I needed to be a great doctor.

But, as I started working through the book, I almost immediately hit a wall: the wall of inexperience.

As I tried to memorise everything, it felt like I was wading through treacle. I found myself struggling to remember the specifics of rare conditions like Waldenstrom macroglobulinemia, Ehlers-Danlos syndromes, or Klippel-Trenaunay syndrome. And I couldn’t understand the point of memorising so much information, especially since the majority of the conditions in the book are relatively new and don’t contribute to the majority of suffering that patients experience.

I eventually realised that trying to learn everything about clinical medicine before gaining any real-life experience was a big mistake.

Instead, I needed the foundation of experience to help me make sense of all the knowledge I was trying to cram into my brain.

So, it was only once I started seeing patients and experiencing life on the wards everything started to make more sense.

For example, after seeing a patient who had a cardiac arrest and how we dealt with it, the chapter on ‘cardiac arrest’ suddenly made a million times more sense to me. Far more than it ever did when I read about it over and over again in the handbook. And that’s because there’s incredible value in actually doing the thing we want to learn, rather than just reading about it.

I’ve since realised that it’s really easy to make this mistake in other areas of our life too.

People try to learn everything they can about YouTube, before making their first video. People try to read everything about business before starting their first business. We read countless books, watch endless videos, and consume all the information we can find, all before actually starting to do the thing we want to learn.

But, the truth is, the best way to learn is through action.

I was reminded of this story when listening to this amazing 3 hour conversation between Dan Koe and Dickie Bush earlier in the week. They talk about a bunch of interesting stuff, including this idea that we should always look to take action first and allow experience to be the foundation of learning.

Of course, we shouldn’t ignore learning entirely, but it shouldn’t be our main focus. The focus should be on getting experience, knowing that the knowledge we need will come with time.

So, ask yourself, what are you currently trying to learn too much about before actually doing the thing?

Have a great week!

Ali xx

P.S. I’m launching a referral programme for Sunday Snippets. At the bottom of this email you’ll find your unique referral link that you can share with your friends. The more people you refer the more rewards you get, including free access to two of my courses, the templates I use to manage my life/business, accessing to my coaching calls, and more 🙂

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♥️ My Favourite Things

📚 Book – Mistborn: The Bands of Mourning. I finished re-reading book 6 of Brandon Sanderson’s Mistborn series, and just started reading book 7, ‘The Lost Metal’. I’ve been holding off on this for a while because it was released fairly recently and I wanted to do a re-read of the whole series before I got into it. Every book he releases continues to reinforce my love of Brandon Sanderson and his amazing writing. So, if you haven’t read any of his stuff, I highly recommend you start with book one in the Mistborn series as a starting point: ‘The Final Empire’.

✈️ Place to visit – Kiruna. The folks at Epidemic Sound invited me on an incredible four day trip to Sweden this week. We spent two days in Stockholm, before flying north to Kiruna to stay at The IceHotel. This was the furtherst north I’ve ever been in my life. Unfortunately we didn’t see the Northern lights, but we had lots of fun and filmed a bunch of content.

🎬 YouTube Channel – Linking your Thinking. I’ve binged Nick Milo’s videos over the last few days because I’m trying to take my Obsidian note-taking system a little more seriously. There’s a lot of stuff that I’ve been discovering and researching in the process of writing my book that I know I want to save for a later date, so I’ve been trying to slowly build out my second brain note-taking system in Obsidian as it does the job in a more robust way than what I’m currently doing. So if anyone’s looking to improve their note-taking system, then definitely check out Nick’s channel.

📱 App – photos widget. I recently did a revamp of my iPhone home screen and I added the photos widget on both my phone and iPad. The widget is really nice because it resurfaces memories and photos from years ago, so every day I have a random selection of photos that look back on the last 10 years of my life. So, that’s been super nice. Plus, whenever there’s a nice photo of someone that I haven’t spoken to in a while, I’ll just send it to them and it’s a nice way of keeping in touch.

🎬 My New Videos

🫶 Why I Have 12 Employees as a YouTuber – I always get lots of comments on my videos about what my team do, so I thought I’d share some behind the scenes action. This is a full breakdown of why I have such a big team, what things they all do and answering a few questions from the audience on Twitter.

🤖 6 AI Tools I Use to Boost My Productivity – ChatGPT and other AI tools have been taking over the internet in the last few months, and I’ve been integrating them into my workflow to boost my productivity as much as possible. So in this video I go through 6 of my favourite AI tools that I use to boost my productivity.

✍️ Quote of the Week

“If it entertains you now but will bore you someday, it’s a distraction. Keep looking.”

From The Almanack of Naval Ravikant by Eric Jorgenson. Resurfaced using Readwise.

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