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Are you learning or stuck in knowing

Know a “know it all”?

There is a difference between knowing and learning.  The problem is that many people or should I say “most” people feel they know something and then act according to what they believe they know as truth.

Let me give you a quick example.  For centuries people believed (knew from what they had heard) that the world was flat and they let this knowing impact their beliefs and attitudes.  Then we discovered otherwise – so did everyone change their view or remain stuck in their knowing that was not true?  I don’t know, I wasn’t there, but what I do know is that truth is truth and regardless of our denial of it or being unaware of it, but it doesn’t change the facts or truth.

Years ago scientists believed that the atom was the smallest particle and guess what – with time this was proven that it was not true.  I could go on but over time several subsequent discoveries of the smallest particles proved to still not be true.

Did everyone embrace the new truths as they emerged?  Some yes and some no.  And why?  Well without personal experience or evidence all we have is what other people tell us, but how do we know that what they know is the truth?  We don’t – so we have a choice believe or question.

Flip a switch in your kitchen and the lights come on.  Truth?  Can you see the source or cause – no but you accept what you see as truth – your personal evidence.

This same approach is used by many when it comes to scripture and God.  They have a choice – believe they know it based on what is written or question it – and keep learning and growing.

I could give you thousands of examples to prove that there is more to life than we say we know, but the question remains – do we let our perceived knowing get in the way of our continued learning?

Learning is more than exposure to new information.  It involves a willingness to let go of previous opinions, judgments and mindsets. Just because you read a book or attend a seminar is no guarantee that you will really learn anything, yes you receive new information but generally speaking people resist what is not consistent with their current beliefs, values or knowledge. (By the way the retention of a new idea, concept, approach or philosophy etc. is less than 3% after 2 weeks. (Just thought I would throw that one in for organizations who hire speakers/trainers to do an all day seminar and expect behavior or attitudes to change permanently or even at all.)

As a trainer I have observed thousands of people in my audiences take notes, listen, participate and then change nothing.  Not being critical here – just sharing what I believe is a common challenge to learning and the challenge is – being willing to accept that which you have believed, no matter how vested you are in it, is no longer true, valid or appropriate for how you live your life.

Let me ask you – have you changed any opinion about anything in the past five years – in other words something you believed in the past is no longer relevant or appropriate for how you work, play or just live?  If you answer is no – you are in denial.  We all learn – whether we are actively searching for new knowledge or not – by accident or on purpose.  Life often forces us to learn regardless of whether we are ready or open to new concepts, ideas etc.  Life is a teacher and it teaches us using – failure, problems, adversity, obstacles, disappointment and uncertainty and yes change.

We always have a choice – we can learn what life is trying to teach us, actively search for new knowledge or we can resist life’s lessons as they show up.  But I guarantee that if you don’t learn when you have the option – sooner or later a similar lesson or opportunity to learn will appear.

For example – if you have never learned the lesson of disappointment I will guarantee that something or someone will continue to disappoint you until you finally get it – we all face disappointment in life and we can learn to accept it and learn to manage it or continue to live with frustration, anxiety, fear etc. due to life’s disappointing circumstances.

Let me close with a simple concept – you are either an active life learner continually searching for new knowledge/wisdpm and willing to embrace the new and let go of the old or you are stuck blaming, whining, complaining because life isn’t fair, good or it doesn’t behave according to your agendas, expectations or schedule.

Welcome to life 101 folks – learn or stay stuck in your knowing or what you believe or think is true. ##

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