“The older I get, the younger my teachers become.” ~Unknown
As a life-long learner, I’m grateful for the people who have been (and currently are) willing to teach me. Whether they’ve written a book I’ve read, created a podcast, or sat down next to me to explain something, their willingness to teach me has enriched my live. I’m especially grateful that these teachers are often younger than I am.
As someone who’s been around for over half a century, I couldn’t imagine how adversely impacted my learning would be if I only listened to people who were older than me. If I carried the belief that there’s nothing I can learn from anyone who’s younger than me, I’d be willingly disconnecting myself from the wisdom and knowledge of a significant portion of the world population. What an awful way to move through life!
If sense a negative attitude bubbling up when you have the opportunity to learn from someone younger, check yourself. You may be on the cusp of throwing away a perfectly good learning experience.
How foolish it would be to miss an opportunity to learn something valuable, simply because pride and ego deafen your ears to voices younger than your own.
I’ve been playing the electric bass for almost 3 years now, and one thing I really enjoy is getting the sheet music for a song I like and learning how to play it. While it’s fun, as well as rewarding, to learn to play a favorite song, what’s especially cool is to take what I’ve learned about one song and apply it to another.
I’m blessed to be able to play electric bass for our worship team at church. The song charts we use at church show us the basic chords (notes) we should play, but otherwise there’s a lot of room to be creative. As I was discussing a section of a favorite song I was learning (Limelight by Rush) with my bass instructor, he showed me how I could apply the same concepts that were being used in this section of Limelight to a song I’ll be playing in church this week. I was totally blown away, as well as excited about the possibilities this opened up for me.
I think most skills we learn have application beyond the context we learn them in. Concepts learned to master one skill are often transferable across other disciplines and scenarios. Being aware of this allows us to multiply the impact of what we learn by applying it broadly beyond the context it was learned in.
The next time you learn something new, think about how you can apply the concepts beyond the context in which it was learned. You’ll start to see possibilities and solutions where they didn’t exist before.