I was spending a much needed night by the TV yesterday after what feels like a whirlwind of travel and work. I’ve been on the road quite a bit lately speaking in various cities and it was nice just to be home and enjoy some r&r. I was watching the popular drama series “Desperate Housewives” and there was this line where one of the characters asks the other “Isn’t learning fun?”. Though it was meant very sarcastically within the plot line of the show, it resonated with me in a totally different way.
As I said, I’ve been on the road quite a bit lately and I’ve been doing quite a bit of training with incredibly diverse audiences. The one thing that never ceases to amaze me is how you’ll be speaking to a group where 70% or so are totally in to what you are saying, their nodding their heads, their engaged, and for all intents and purposes they’re learning. But, then there is almost always another type of participant and that is the one who is giving off the vibe of “I know all this” or “I have nothing to learn.”
Life, as far as I’m concerned, is one school day after the next. There is never a day that goes by where I am not learning. Whether it’s that pizza boxes are now recyclable, or, that Alberta, housing 3.3 million people, is twice the land mass of Germany, home to over 83 million. In fact, I wake up in the morning excited, wondering what the experiences of the day will hold. Who will I meet, where will I end up, but, most importantly, what will I learn? Learning to me is like my morning americano – it fuels me. I could not imagine going through life with the attitude that I know it all.
Wait a minute, yes I can….because that was my attitude, probably from the age of 16 to about 25. It’s a very dangerous way to operate your life; from the premise that you know it all. The reason being: of course we don’t know it all – that would be impossible. But, furthermore, when you believe that you do know it all and discover you don’t, or worse, get caught not knowing, your whole world is disrupted. Your self-esteem is knocked, you go on the defensive; I’ve been known to argue my point even when it’s become obvious to me that I was wrong.
Life is all about growth; growth of your knowledge, growth of you as a person, growth of your spirit, growth of your relationships…and with growth inevitably comes learning. Learning about yourself, learning about the world, learning about other people, learning about the environment, culture, food, language; it’s endless. I’m so glad that I woke up, climbed down from the “know it all” pedestal where I resided for the majority of my early twenties and embraced all there is for the world to offer.
“Isn’t learning fun?”