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Learning From Others

By: Jeff Durham - Updated: 10 Oct 2012 | comments*Discuss
Learning From Others Lifelong Learning

As a child it would be bizarre to think that we could survive for very long unless there were people to teach us things. From the moment we are born, we are taught by our parents and other family members, relatives and close friends initially and that continues through childhood with our parents and teachers all providing us with learning experiences.

As adults too, society expects us to still keep learning but in a more specific manner. For example, it’s considered quite acceptable to go on as adults and to learn new skills and obtain qualifications to further our careers but when it comes to our emotional development, society tends to have embedded us with a belief that this is not something to talk about and that we should simply work things out for ourselves and to do that in a very quiet and private way.

However, such an approach to life would result in us never having the chance to mature properly or to make any change in our lives. Life is all about learning and evolving through change and we must be able to do that openly and without fear of ridicule for the entire duration of our lives.

It should, therefore, not be perceived as any sign of weakness if a person wishes to learn how to develop themselves as human beings more fully by seeking the advice of other more learned people. That’s how we’re able to grow emotionally as well as spiritually.

It’s Not About Copying or Cloning

When we are young, many of us will have looked up to people we admire and wanted to be just like them. The most common examples of this are with people such as footballers and pop stars where you’ll often see boys wearing their favourite football team’s shirt emblazoned not with their own name but with the name of their favourite player. Likewise, young girls will often copy the hairstyles and clothes of their favourite female pop celebrity.

Now, as adults, it would seem rather strange if we were to adopt a similar mentality when it came to people we admire. That said, however, it is still perfectly natural to have role models as adults or, if that term still seems too unsettling, then it is still perfectly acceptable for us to have other adults, famous or not, whom we perceive as having something about them that we aspire to.

More often than not, our admiration tends to come about as a result of the values these people espouse and their views on life as opposed to the way they look or dress and something of their viewpoints and values connects with our own in some way.Therefore, we can often learn a lot from others and, although we have no intention of becoming a clone or a copycat, we can still take aspects of another person’s beliefs and values and incorporate them into our own.

Live to Learn

If we are serious about our own personal growth, we should also be serious about the concept of learning for life. We should never stop our insatiable thirst for learning new things and encountering alternative beliefs, cultures, values etc. If we were to stop doing that, our personal development would stop too.

Therefore, we should embrace any opportunity we have to learn from others. This does not mean having to agree with them on every little issue. In fact, we will learn from many people we encounter with whom we have nothing in common at all. In addition to learning things from others which we believe may also help us to become better people, what we learn from those with whom we disagree on everything simply reinforces our own beliefs and values which is also valuable in terms of our own self-perception.

Learning from others helps us grow emotionally, helps us from making mistakes and can often help with our own decision making.

The beauty of wanting to learn from others is that you will remain open and willing to listen which, in return, will draw others towards you which will also open up many new doors and experiences. Not only that, you’ll also find that being a lifelong learner will also make you seem a worthy teacher too so, as well as learning from the experiences of others, you’ll often find that you will also be in great demand from people who want to learn from you also.

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