Throughout life, we learn. Whether we are learning to speak our first words, studying the principles of macroeconomics, or recovering from a failed project our life experience consists of a life-long series of lessons. Our processing and response to these lessons define our experience, skill-sets, and knowledge-base. These dividends of our life-long journey of learning benefit us greatly in many ways. However, the benefit of our personal enlightenment is fleeting unless it is shared with another person. Much like money, when it is invested wisely, its value grows. Unlike money, when knowledge is shared, it is not depleted from our account, but rather it is multiplied.
The learning mindset
Living a life that embraces life-long learning is one that is filled with curiosity, humility, and adventure. While all persons have their strengths, weaknesses, and limitations accepting these as fixed or permanent characteristics is not part of the nature of someone who embraces the learning mindset. We are encountered with many obstacles in life and seeking for solutions which are beyond our current understanding and comfort is the core of growth. Without the willingness to fail, learn from experience, and apply learnings to the next iteration, mankind would have never invented the lightbulb, attempted to form “a more perfect Union,” or stepped on the surface of the moon. Yes, actively living a learning mindset can be stressful, emotional, and exhausting; However, the alternative is a dull and fearsome existence.
The end of our education does not end at a graduation ceremony. It also doesn’t stop at the acquisition of understanding and wisdom. The learning process continues when we share our experience with another person. When we share our knowledge, we not only initiate learning in another person, we also discover aspects of our understanding that require further growth and refinement. Learning is a self-perpetuating dynamic. Absent of sharing with another and engaging in “knowledge hoarding,” our education becomes stagnant, irrelevant, and incomplete. Further, the intellectual engagement with your co-workers builds communication channels and trust which elevate decision-making, adaptability, and innovation. At the end of the day, these are of far greater value than any specific knowledge or skill-set that an employee may bring to the table.
No one has achieved a rich set of knowledge without the generosity of others who are willing to share. We have learned from our parents, friends, teachers, and anyone who was willing to write or speak of the knowledge that they have gained. Our wisdom and experience is their legacy which endures far beyond their employment and lifespan. The puzzle pieces of life’s mysteries are distributed widely in a variety of minds. The ultimate power, influence, and value that one can provide are to contribute their pieces joyfully to a task and discover their connection with others. Education is the kindling of a flame. When contained, the flame will merely glow and eventually burn out. However, when liberated to ignite others, the fire will be luminous and immortal.