I have a Facebook friend who’s a fellow blogger who has coined the above title (in the second-person) as the by-line on his book. As yet I have not prioritised a read of his book (which I say rather guiltily) but I believe upfront this sentence exudes a truth that should make us stand up and take note.
The biggest gap of our lives exists in those things we’re still yet to learn—to the level of making continual ongoing mistakes. The many hundreds of things we still have yet to learn hold us back from realising a potential toward the actualisation of us as persons.
The worst thing for any person, and this affects us all equally to lesser or greater extent, is to endure an ongoing failure to learn, particularly concerning the basic things in life.
Three Approaches, Two Outcomes, but Only One
As people we tend to learn and re-learn many things, repeating our mistakes over and again—occasionally getting them right, and the effect of this is either we get frustrated or we deny our fault (i.e. the ‘two outcomes’)—there are two of three approaches here that cause us not to learn.
Denial of our fault in the learning opportunity is the obvious ‘no go’ area. If we can’t be honest with ourselves about our mistakes there’s little to no hope of learning.
Frustration has two consequents. We either get frustrated, confused and angry and we spew our anger out and over things (a negative outcome where we don’t learn) or we get frustrated as stimulus to curiosity—a sincere, pointed form of self-enquiry where we’re driven and disciplined to become aware and problem solve toward truly learning and growing from the opportunity.
So, life is characterised at its most basic with learning opportunities—the most successful people in life have the highest abilities to learn. Until we realise this is how life works—that it’s based fundamentally on the principle of learning and growing—we’ll always struggle to get anywhere truly positive and stay there.
But, the title of the article is what it’s really about. The signs are there for us. We only have to look at our lives honestly and we’ll find out exactly what God’s saying to us and calling us to learn.
Life’s number one objective is to become a skilled learner; to improvise, adapt, overcome.
© S. J. Wickham, 2009.