“As our island of knowledge grows, so does the shore of our ignorance.” Said John Wheeler. It takes a special kind of humility to grasp that you know less, even as you know and grasp more and more. Socrates’ wisdom lay in the fact that he knew that he knew next to nothing. In reality understanding and mastery is a fluid, continual process. Humility engenders learning because it beats back the arrogance that puts blinders on. The humble improve, they don’t assume, “I know the way.” No matter what you have done up to this point, you better still be a student. If you are not still learning, you are already dying. It is not enough only to be a student at the beginning. It is a position that one has to assume for life. At every step and every juncture in life, there is the opportunity to learn— and even if the lesson is purely remedial, we must not let ego block us from hearing it again. Too often, convinced of our own intelligence, we stay in a comfort zone that ensures that we never feel foolish. As we pursue our craft, the second that we let the ego tell us we have graduated, learning grinds to a halt. An amateur is defensive. The professional finds learning to be enjoyable; they like being challenged and humbled, and engage in education as an ongoing and endless process.
Why can’t businesses change and adapt? A large part of it is because they lost the ability to learn. They stopped being students. As people progress, they must also understand how they learn and then set up processes to facilitate this continual education.
When one teaches one becomes a student again. You learn your craft/skill better as you explain it to a student. Always be open for questions so that you maintain your humility. Your knowledge expressed simply to a student enables you to learn your skill in a new and better way. ALWAYS BE A TEACHER AND YOU ALWAYS STAY A STUDENT.
Categories: Book Summary Philosophical Perspective
Ron Winnegrad has been a Perfumer and teacher for 46 years. As a perfumer, Ron has been able to express the world he sees through a rainbow of olfactive and emotive visions. As a teacher, Ron has helped others to see fragrance through his own multi sensorial lens.
Thank you Ron for sharing these thoughts. I read the whole Ryan Holiday article inspired by you. Your message is so perfect for me at this time of my life since I want to start teaching. Once again, thank you for being a rung in my ladder !
Dear Charo thank you for your kind words. I too thank you for being a rung in my ladder. I am happy that you wish to teach. Follow your dream. You will find such a rewarding life if you do. You will receive much more than you give. It will make your heart smile. Take care.