I always find it amusing when I discover something in my personal life that correlates to my professional life. It’s almost as if the experiences in one part of my life are attempting to prepare me for the trials and tribulations that lie ahead in other areas. Now, if I would only start paying more attention…
I’m currently enjoying everything that goes along with being the father of a teenager. Unfortunately, one of the most trying parts of parenting includes restraining myself from attempting to beat some sense into this same teenager. It’s all I can do to keep things in perspective, trying my hardest to recall what it must’ve been like for my parents to deal with me at that age. Certainly, I couldn’t have been this hard-headed, was I Mom and Dad?
We all know that teenagers have it all figured out. They know everything there is to know about life, and certainly need no advice from all of us old people out there. You know who you are; you elders that life has already passed by.
They already know what they’re doing. Of course, learning anything else is just a waste of time. Like, totally! What could they possibly gain from reading a book or listening to someone who’s been through similar circumstances? How could these old people possibly know what they’re talking about?
I find it amazing how, on one hand, we can be frustrated by our teenager’s lack of appreciation for knowledge. We can’t understand how they can pass up an opportunity to learn something from someone else; how they can’t see that this knowledge (from people who’ve already experienced similar situations) can save them from some of the pain of life’s lessons. While on the other hand, we are doing the same thing in our professional lives, failing to take advantage of all the opportunities available to us to bypass some of those same painful life lessons.
We all start out in our business with a similar outlook, attempting to learn as much information as possible about our new career. But, somewhere along the way, we become that proverbial teenager, thinking that we know everything. We are convinced that any additional education is simply a waste of our valuable time. Totally.
“The greatest enemy of learning is knowing.” John Maxwell
We all know people who never outgrew that teen-aged mindset, who continue to shun education in favor of their myopic view of life. They are content to live their lives in a bubble of their own creation. They already know everything they need to survive and would rather stuff themselves full of Netflix and Candy Crush than learn something new.
Fortunately, just like our teenagers, some of us will continue to grow and mature. The most successful among us will realize the error of our ways and start again in our quest for knowledge, attempting to learn as much about our industry as we can.
Don’t get caught in the teen-aged trap. Wherever you are in your life or in your career, there is always something to be learned. Some new information that can help you get better. Some better way of doing things or some new methods that can improve your abilities, helping you to avoid some of the pitfalls of business, and the pain associated with making mistakes.
Just keep learning. It always pays dividends. Like, totally.
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