No matter how old we get, how many books we read, how many documentaries we watch, how many degrees we get…we’ll never know everything. It’s also a dangerous thought even to think you know a lot, or to believe you know more than the next person. We can recognize our accumulated knowledge, no doubt, but staying humble to the fact that there is an infinite amount of “stuff” we don’t know, and will never know, is important.
Young or old
It could be your father, your mother, your next door neighbour, your student, your own child. Anyone can teach you about anything. There are so many things that my own kids (now 4.5 and 6) have taught me. I love it when they catch me off guard, or impress me immensely with some new fact I never knew.
Even though you might expect to learn mostly from those who are older and more experienced, that’s not always the way it goes down.
Become a great listener
Getting distracted is easy these days. Intently listening? That’s the hard part.
Bleeping smartphones, yapping children, barking pets, bumping music…there’s a constant battle for our attention at any given moment. Whether you find yourself in a conversation with someone, or your kid is telling you a story, or you’re reading a book, or hearing a podcast, focus on truly listening. I’m talking about the kind of listening that is genuine and that enables you to take away as much as possible. If you can really do this, it’s what will empower you to learn and grow as a person through the years.
Be open to learning
Regardless of where you are or who you’re with, always be open to learn new things from anyone and everyone. It’s a beautiful thing. When you are receptive and welcoming to whatever presents itself and comes in your direction, the accumulation of your knowledge is limitless.
And so much more, too.
You might gain a new perspective, feel something you’ve never felt before, understand someone a little better, or comprehend some aspect of life in a new way. And it’s these learnings that all come together to make us the best beings we can possibly be, all the while, living our fullest and richest lives.