Monday, May 03, 2010

We All Need to Continue Learning

Experts are dime-a-dozen. Trust me.

On every street corner, you're going to find people who are "experts" in something - and it seems that more and more of them are talking out of their backsides, and actually have no idea. In fact, these people are usually individuals who have, through some series of events, found themselves to be successful in some sort of venture (financial, athletic, etc), which may be the result of natural talent, some hard work or, quite frankly, luck. But whatever it is that got them there, these "experts" usually turn around and start preaching their "system" as the be-all and end-all approach.

But here's the rub - they may not always be right. Or worse, they may actually be wrong. There's always the possibility that, if they'd done something a different way, their natural talent would have gotten them there even faster. Or alternatively, that they accomplished something to a lesser degree than they could have if they'd followed a different system.

In my experience, I've found that anyone who calls themselves an "expert" - is usually the farthest thing from it. Personally? I prefer to learn from "teachers".

"Teachers" are not infallible - and they know it. Teachers have their own mentors, and continue to be "students of the game" - still involved with what they're teaching, always listening to alternative ideas, examining different approaches, and seeking others' opinions in an effort to advance their own knowledge and experience. As well - they speak with humility, and a recognition of their limits - thereby making what they are teaching you that much more valuable.

It is because of this that I try to enter every situation, every conversation and every debate with as open a mind as possible - because even if I vehemently disagree with the other opinion, there is always something to be learned.

The last thing I ever want to be is an "expert" - but every day, I try to learn how to be a better teacher.


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