“Learning is like rowing upstream: not to advance is to drop back”. – Chinese Proverb
Realize that in every moment or event is a chance to improve and advance our knowledge. The more information we gather, the more we broaden our mind. Learning is an infinite journey. Yet we should never pretend to know everything or to understand what we do not. All this does is limit us, narrows our options, and destroys an opportunity for growth. Always embrace the chance to learn. By opening ourselves up to advice, ideas, or input from others, we allow ourselves to expand our knowledge, skills, and expertise. This is not to say that you need to agree or accept everything or anything at face value, but be open to it. Examine and explore everything with the realization that, regardless of how far you have come, there is still so much more to learn and experience. Emerson wrote, “In every man there is something wherein I may learn, and in that I am his pupil.” This perceptive quote is a tribute to all people and events—that in each one, there is something to gain, discover or take away, sometimes as the pupil and others, as the teacher. This approach will help you experience life at its fullest, increase your options, and foster success.
Each day brings challenges to strengthen our resolve and opportunities to thrive, but we need to reach out for them. Never be discouraged or feel uncomfortable because you do not know something. Adopt that as an opportunity to learn. Ask questions, be inquisitive, and always keep your mind prepared for new ideas or possibilities. Anything you encounter in your daily routine, whether meeting someone new, or collecting information, is a chance to grow and learn. Daniel Bell wrote, “The most important attitude that can be formed is that of the desire to go on learning.” The second we believe we are complete or have reached our potential, there is nowhere to go. The moment you think you know everything, understand you know relatively nothing—knowledge and information are infinite. If we consider ourselves green, we will grow; if we consider ourselves ripe, we will rot. Continually challenge and feed your mind with different ideas and insights.
George Matthew Adams wrote, “You are your greatest investment. The more you store in that mind of yours, the more you enrich your experience, the more people you meet, the more books you read, the more places you visit, the greater is that investment in all that you are. Everything that you add to our peace of mind, and to your outlook upon life, is added capital that no one but yourself can dissipate.”
Knowledge is omnipresent, all around us to gather and share. Lord Chesterfield wrote, “There is hardly any place or any company where you may not gain knowledge.” A great conversation is one that is equality balanced. Similar to a tennis match, it is a balanced exchange of ideas and information, sincere listening and giving—not a fencing match. Learn the power in being the pupil; one who seeks to learn and understand. When at school, spend some one-on-one time with the professors. Take advantage of their office hours to collect invaluable insight into a subject. Inquire about a topic and gain a more in-depth understanding. At work, find someone who specializes in a different field of interest and initiate conversations. In essence, make an opportunity to learn something new every day. Family or friends hold an abundance of interesting facts, stories, and events that can enliven our minds and nourish our intellect. Imagine what could be accomplished with just an hour a day on a topic or subject.
Never develop a negative attitude or allow life to become redundant. Learn to challenge yourself daily and be open to new thoughts or discoveries. Find the power in even the smallest things. Life is extraordinary, if you work at it. Clutch onto the myriad of opportunities that are around us. Create a mindset to look for something interesting or informative daily. Learn a new subject, a language, or skill. Spend time reading about an issue or studying an interesting topic. Visit the library where you can get books, music, DVDs or books on tape to listen to in the car. With so much to achieve in the world, never allow yourself to become narrow minded or bogged down with excuses. Be receptive to others; for there is power in perception and amazing opportunity. Keep moving forward and take in everything you can. Momentum is vital in becoming stronger, smarter, and accomplishing your goals. Always learning and growing is an attitude—a forceful approach and mature outlook for conquering life, not being conquered by it.