We learn the most through personal experience. The more we explore the World and try new things, the wider our understanding becomes. The broader our knowledge, the deeper our insight. The more we know, the more we can pass on to others. Even when we fail, we learn. Getting things wrong teaches us what to avoid doing in the future. Life is a daily learning process. Lifelong learners learn for life.
If we embrace the benefits of learning new things, we will thrive. If we shut out the World and stay fixed in our views, we will quickly become dis-engaged, deskilled and afraid. We’re very used to earning a living, we need to get used to learning one too.
As well as living our own lives, we can also learn a lot from other people’s experiences too. That learning can come in many forms. It could be a formal education, few wise words, a useful anecdote, the nudge that helps us work something out for ourselves, a great book, a newspaper article, or an insightful documentary film.
“We’re very used to earning a living, we need to get used to learning one too”Simon James Rhodes
My life experience has taught me a great deal, but like everyone else, I can only gain one life’s worth of experiences. To live an interesting life and play a useful role in society I need to know far more. It pays to understand more about the World around us. So every day I read, I watch; and most of all I listen. As a teacher once told me “You’ve got two ears and one mouth. Use them in proportion.”
As well as two ears, I’ve been lucky enough to have two eyes, so I’ve read a lot too. I’ll leave you now with the books that have probably taught me the most. There have been many other great books of course, but these are the ones that I’ve recommended the most. These are all second copies at least. I’ve lent out so many books that I haven’t had back. To me that’s the sign of a great book. I would have added ‘The Tipping Point’ or ‘David and Goliath’ by Malcolm Gladwell onto the pile, but I’ve obviously lent them out.