“All streams flow to the sea because it is lower than they are. humility gives it its power. if you want to govern the people, you must place yourself below them. if you want to lead the people, you must learn how to follow them.”
― Lao Tzu
From a young age, I have been constantly learning. But it has been mostly theoretical information from textbooks and academic literature. In the rare times, I also acquired practical knowledge applicable to every life.
After graduating from college, I thought education had ended. However, it was quite the opposite.
As I have discovered, that’s when real training began. For example, to be proficient at my job, I had to obtain the necessary skills through hands-on experience. Even though abstract ideas was a good starting point, what truly excelled my expertise was direct exposure through doing.
And the more essential abilities I gained, the more I realized how much I don’t know. That’s when I adopted the beginner’s mindset and the willingness to learn and grow.
Viewing the world as an uninformed child, I get curious about everything. Despite knowing some information about a particular topic, I remain silent and listen to others. This generates respect for everyone I meet, regardless of how much or little they might know.
By learning from others and the world, I acquire intelligence which I may not have. To be proactive, I also do a deep dive on topics of interest by consuming sources such as books, articles, podcasts, and videos.
While collecting information is useful, what is more important is the implementation. That’s what will yield the results I want.
Acknowledging I don’t know everything, and I never will, I have learned to let go of my ego. While it gives me ambition and drive, I don’t let it control me. And to rise above it, I focus on commitment – the reasons for my pursues.
In return, I don’t feel the need to prove anything to anyone, including myself. Simply, I do it out of self-love and desire, because it strikes a chord in the deepest part of my core.
As a forever of student, I appreciate how far I have come and the man I have become. A short yet powerful gratitude practice reminds me of how fortunate I already am.
There’s an infinite amount of knowledge in the universe. There simply isn’t enough time and capacity to acquire it all.
Therefore, no one will ever know about everything.
Accepting that fact, realize you won’t learn all there is. And that’s okay. That’s one of the beauties of life – having the endless possibility to grow and evolve.
Regardless of how much you may know on a particular subject, learn to listen to others. Have patience and let them finish their thoughts. When it’s appropriate, respectfully inject your take on the topic.
Especially in times of disagreement, practice courtesy as you don’t need to be right which is driven by your ego. Instead, you want to be effective by clearly communicating your opinions without offending other people.
That way, all parties involved can have a civilized conversation. This can lead to meaningful, insightful, and engaging discussions.
As a result, you can still have good relationships with those who may have disparate views.
Adopt the Beginner’s Mindset
One of the most successful ways to learn continually is to view the world as a two-year-old. This will allow you to be constantly curious.
To fulfill your eagerness to learn, you are more willing to try new activities. Soon, you will have an amateur mentality.
By doing fresh things, you will gain original experiences. While having existing knowledge is great, but it can hinder growth since you’re less likely to implement new strategies and tactics.
For example, if you have been going to work using the same route for many years, chances are high you will use that course frequently. But what if an unseen event such a car accident or construction repairs had obstructed your path which caused a delay?
By adopting the beginner’s mindset, you would find the fastest (typically shortest) path to your destination. This may result in checking your Global Positioning System (GPS) for live traffic to determine the quickest way.
If you can view any challenge as it were your first time, you’re more prone to find the easiest and simplest solutions. Hence, it’s important to keep an open mind and explore new ways of doing things even if you already have a great deal of experience.
Humility is a powerful trait to have because it makes you adaptable. By not being fixated to any particular way of thinking or doing, you can easily change your methods and approaches for unraveling problems.
Practicing being humble will balance out the ego – the need to be right or be the best.
No matter how much or little people have, they are fighting their own unique battles. However, we all have something in common – we’re all human on the journey of life.
Therefore, be respectful and generate kindness to all that you encounter.
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