“Some people drink from the fountain of knowledge, others just gargle.”

“Some people drink from the fountain of knowledge, others just gargle.”

– Robert Anthony, PhD and Hypnotherapist

Photo from Flickr by Martina Yach

Photo from Flickr by Martina Yach

During coaching sessions, I often refer to the reasonably extensive collection of books in my office.

I highlight, underline, and do a good bit of writing throughout the pages of these books, to enhance my ingestion and digestion of these nuggets of knowledge.

For me, a good book is not only an investment of $20, it is an investment of many hours of my life. It is time in which I intend to embrace the considerable value each author hoped to share with readers such as myself.

EXERCISE:

Notice where you drink and/or gargle from the fountain of knowledge. What small or large adjustments can you make to these efforts to impact your life for the better?

Pay particular attention today to your engagement with all forms of information, including everything from the great works of fiction and non-fiction to the wide variety of social media choices available.

“Knowledge is like climbing a mountain; the higher you reach, the more you can see and appreciate.”

“Knowledge is like climbing a mountain; the higher you reach, the more you can see and appreciate.”

– Unknown

484Image from Flickr by kiszka king

When I first read this quote, I immediately wanted to change the word “knowledge” to “wisdom.” After all, most of us have images of wise prophets and sages living on mountaintops, bequeathing us mere mortals below with the wisdom of the ages. However, the pursuit and acquisition of knowledge is still part of the process.

Exercise:

Consider replying with your definitions of “knowledge” and “wisdom,” and how they are related.

What new sights have you been able to see and appreciate during your climb to the top?

“An investment in knowledge pays the best interest.”

“An investment in knowledge pays the best interest.”

– Benjamin Franklin, one of the Founding Fathers of the United States

The people who know me best know how much I love to learn. Learning is part of my fundamental fabric and is one of my signature strengths. Perhaps that is why, over 20 years ago, I was so attracted to the profession of coaching, where personal and professional growth and development is a top priority.

Not only do I enjoy learning new things each and every day, I find sharing this learning and supporting others on their own growth journey amazingly satisfying.

Exercise:

Select one or two things you would like to learn about today. Ask others around you to teach you things – or simply tap into the web and dig in.

Share what you learn with others in your world to compound your interest.

“We know more than we know we know.”

“We know more than we know we know.”

– Unknown

One of the coach’s most powerful tools is the open-ended question: you know, those questions that can’t be answered with a simple “yes” or “no”.

Who could have imagined that the six simple trigger words of who, what, when, where, why, and how could bring forth a level of knowledge and wisdom in others far deeper than we see on the surface?

Exercise:

Imagine yourself and others as an iceberg where what we know we know is only the observable part above the surface. (With icebergs, this is typically only one-eighth of the whole.)

Practice asking yourself and those around you more open-ended questions to discover how much more we actually know that lies below the surface.

“The ability to perceive or think differently is more important than the knowledge gained.”

“The ability to perceive or think differently is more important than the knowledge gained.”

– David Bohm, theoretical physicist


On / off, right / wrong, black / white are examples of polar opposites or, some might say, the duality of a situation. Knowledge, although highly prized and valuable in our world, often points us in the direction of the “right answer” and can often lead us to a somewhat limited view on a particular subject.

Bohm suggests that being open to various perspectives and having the ability to think differently is more important than knowledge in our world today. We need the wisdom to evaluate things with a full spectrum of colors and multiple shades of grey.

Exercise:

Where in your personal and professional life are you limited by knowledge gained and your need to be right? How can you exercise your “try it on” muscle to explore opportunities and possibilities beyond your knowledge of things?

“The unfed mind devours itself.”

“The unfed mind devours itself.”

– Gore Vidal, writer

We’ve all heard the phrase “you are what you eat.” Perhaps this is also the case with our thoughts.

When we feed ourselves positive, affirming ideas and thoughts, our lives expand and become better. When we feed ourselves negative and critical thoughts – which often occur when our minds are not enriched – we tend to regress, becoming smaller and far less fulfilled.

Exercise:

If the phrase “thoughts become things” has some truth to it, plan your future cerebral meals carefully to include only the choicest morsels.

  • Consider purchasing a copy of John Maxwell’s Maxwell Daily Reader to chew on each day.
  • Read a passage from the Bible, Torah, Koran or another inspirational book.

Of course, please keep reading and sharing The Quotable Coach with others. I will do my best to make it worth your time.

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“Reading one book is like eating one potato chip.”

“Reading one book is like eating one potato chip.”

– Diane Duane, science fiction and fantasy author

How many of you remember the old Lays potato chip commercial from the 70s and 80s – you know, the one that says you can’t eat just one? For some reason, those crispy salty treats caused many of us to find ourselves licking our fingers, having reached the bottom of the bag.

For me, books are a great metaphor for the satisfaction of gaining greater knowledge, entertaining ourselves, and expanding our worlds. They won’t even put those extra pounds on you.

Exercise:

Develop a list of books that you intend to read in the year ahead. Consider asking your friends, families and colleagues for their recommendations.

Buy at least one of those books this week on half.com, eBay or Amazon – and schedule yourself to enjoy those tasty bits of knowledge and pleasure daily.

Please check out my list of book recommendations for more ideas:http://www.dempcoaching.com/recommended-reading