“The learners will inherit the earth, while the knowers will find themselves beautifully equipped to deal with a world that no longer exists.” Eric Hoffer
There is so much awesomness in this quote that its words stick with me daily.
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So what are you; a learner or a knower in life?
It’s a valid question because it will usually determine how you view the world and what you believe is possible.
How do you handle change?
“When you’re finished changing, you’re finished.”– Benjamin Franklin
Knowers are extremely comfortable in their current situations and choose not to seek knowledge outside of their comfort zone. Change disrupts their lives like a freight train crushes a stalled car on the tracks. They choose not to accept that this world is imperfect and as such will be extremely stressed with the infinite faults and changes of the world.
Learners strive for constant change to challenge their perception of normalcy. They don’t believe in staying in a comfortable state of stagnation out of fear or for the acceptance of the herd.
Are you a leader?
“Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other.”– John F. Kennedy
Knowers allow the fear of failure to kill their ideas before they ever have the chance to experience success. The dis-empowerment of fear makes them fallow more than lead which makes them the usual naysayers when they see others trying to escape from the herd.Why? Because it brings their own insecurities to light and yet, they’re still too chicken shit to escape themselves.
Simply put, leaders are constantly learning and growing into better, more balanced people. They recognize the high possibility of failure, but are not deterred by the fear, to reach for higher pinnacles in life.
Do you listen more than you jabber?
“I like to listen. I have learned a great deal by listening carefully. Most people never listen.” – Ernest Hemingway
You can’t shut knowers up. Knowers believe they know everything about everything and won’t waste a second spouting what (little) knowledge they have to anyone who appears to be listening. Their view of the world and other people is an ignorant display of asshat-ery. Knowers are too afraid or too foolish to ask questions. They believe that if they ask a stupid question they’ll get mocked or if they ask a question it proves they are fallible.
If you listen more than you speak, you are a learner. Learners give others an opportunity to tell their stories as they are able to gain more knowledge of the individual, their character and absorb their knowledge. Learners are not afraid to speak up and ask questions. Asking questions is the best way to gain knowledge is something you didn’t know about before.
Are you a perfectionist?
“All of us have failed to reach our dream of perfection, so I rate us on the basis of our splendid failure to do the impossible.”-William Faulkner
Knowers are perfectionists. They still believe that things CAN be perfect and are completely perplexed when they continually encounter hurdles. Knowers refuse to adjust their beliefs, hoping the world will eventually get a clue and see it their way. Knowers are usually highly anxious and highly stressed individuals.
Learners understand that perfection is a constantly moving target that is unattainable. There is imperfection in every natural thing and learners do not fight against it. They stay fluid, flowing with the imperfect world, as they gain knowledge and experiences.
Do you try and impart or force your knowledge on others?
“We now accept the fact that learning is a lifelong process of keeping abreast of change. And the most pressing task is to teach people how to learn.”– Peter F. Drucker
Knowers don’t attempt to teach, they attempt to debate and convert. They focus on withholding their knowledge to increase their importance and power over the unknowing. If you’ve ever been in a technical field you are all too familiar with this bullshit!
On the other hand learners don’t hoard their knowledge for themselves, they share with others what they have learned, through personal experiences, so that others can better their lives.
So what characterizes you more, learner or knower?
Me, I’m a recovering, brash loud-mouth knowers, working everyday to be a learner. I’m still loud and maybe a little brash still but, I make improvements everyday. To achieve a transformation towards being a learner, focus on gaining more experiences with change that will help you escape your comfort zone. Push past fear like a starving Jenny Craig client at a buffet and step up to the leadership plate more often.
Shut up more! I know it’s hard for knowers, I was there, but it’s essential to further growth and development. Ask questions, A LOT OF THEM, and shut the hell up for a second and actually listen to the responses! Hot off the press for the knowers, you’re not PERFECT! We are surrounded by imperfections and that’s what makes this life so awesome. Learn to accept and adapt to this fact as soon as you can because fighting against is getting you nowhere!
Once you’re on your way to being a way-cool learner, share your stokeness with others. Show them that living in this world with the characteristics of a learner are a whole hell of a lot better than struggling and demanding your way through it!