Learning is a Treasure

“Learning is a treasure whose keys are queries.”

—Arabian Proverb

Image of "A More Beautiful Question" Book Cover

Have you ever played the lottery hoping to strike it rich? Perhaps as a child you searched on a sandy beach, hoping to find a bit of buried treasure.

The daily pursuit of knowledge and nuggets of wisdom are a form of treasure hunt instantly available to you. Today’s quote points to the importance of curiosity and a mind filled with questions, as keys to opening the vaults and delights of learning.

EXERCISE:

Consider picking up a copy of A More Beautiful Question by Warren Berger to become a more masterful locksmith in opening the treasure chest of life-long learning.

Another book I like very much that will help in this area and develop your own proficiency as a coach is The Coaching Habit by Michael Bungay Stanier.

If only we knew what we knew

“If only we knew what we knew! How can you use the wisdom in the room?”

—Michael Bungay Stanier, founder of Box of Crayons

What are your thoughts and experiences regarding the following phrases and ideas?

  • Two heads are better than one
  • Together Everyone Achieves More (TEAM)
  • The Wisdom of Crowds

How well do you play with others in your professional and personal worlds?

If you are like most people, you constantly evaluate ideas and concepts through your life experiences, your beliefs, and your perceptual filters. These evaluations often come with a judgmental or critical view of ideas that don’t line up with your own way of thinking.

EXERCISE:

For at least the next day or two, consider that everyone in your professional and personal world is far more intelligent and wise than you think they are.

How could you orchestrate this brain trust or mastermind community to achieve far more than you ever thought possible?

Be Discerning about your Learning

“Be discerning about your learning.”

—Jenny Blake, author of Pivot: The only Move that Matters

Image of a man at a computer with a knife and fork in his hands

Image from One in a Billion

A while ago I attended a Detroit Tigers game at Comerica Park where, happily, the Tigers beat the Chicago White Sox 7-to-4, sweeping the series.

One of the best parts of going to the ballpark is the not-so-good-for-you-but-tasty food choices. Perhaps you are salivating already!

Recently, the owners of Comerica Park took the coaching of health-conscious fans and added a good variety of healthier choices to the menus of the Grab-and-Go carts and the Brushfire Grille.

Today’s quote is about the ingestion of information through a variety of resources, including all forms of media. Some of the media resources available today are considered “junk,” off limits, and perhaps even detrimental to our health and well-being.

EXERCISE:

How and in what way can you be far more discerning about your learning to ingest and digest only the highest quality choices and nuggets of wisdom that enhance your life?

Please consider sharing The Quotable Coach blog, or my book that contains 365 “nuggets of practical wisdom” with a friend, colleague, or family member.

Thank You!

When you’re happy you enjoy the music

“When you’re happy you enjoy the music. When you’re sad, you understand the lyrics.”

-Frank Ocean, American songwriter and rapper

Image of Bob Dylan on the cover of Rolling Stone

If you were asked to name your favorite songwriters, who would make your list?

Rolling Stone’s Top 100 Songwriters include:

  • Taylor Swift, the youngest artist on Rolling Stone’s list
  • Eminem, contemporary pop artist with head-spinning wordplay
  • Sam Cook, one of the first African-American civil rights songwriters
  • Loretta Lynn, Nashville’s feminist revolutionary
  • Bert Berns, who wrote hits like Twist & Shout, and Piece of My Heart
  • Willie Nelson, whose hits include country, reggae, and standards with strings
  • John Lennon / Paul McCartney, powerhouse duo of The Beatles
  • Paul Simon, who wrote The Sounds of Silence, and Bridge Over Troubled Water
  • Chuck Berry, music’s first ever guitar hero
  • Bob Dylan, 1960s folk music hero

Recently, Bob Dylan was recognized with a Nobel Prize in Literature for the lyrics he wrote that moved so many with their power and meaning. He was also #1 on Rolling Stone’s list.

All of these songwriters are lyrical poets, sharing their most moving and significant life moments in song.

EXERCISE:

How might you glean even greater insight and life wisdom by listens more closely to the words of masterful songwriters, regardless of your mood?

Whether to say it

“A smart person knows what to say. A wise person knows whether or not to say it.”

—Author Unknown

When can less be more? How often do you find yourself giving others advice or sharing your wealth of knowledge and experience, only to find that it is unwanted?

Were you ever that kid in school who raised their hand saying “call on me!” so you could share the right answer and show how smart you were? If so, what reaction did you receive from the other students? If not, how did you feel about your classmates who did?

I have found it very useful, in recent years, to restrain my exuberance to share what I know in order to more fully allow others to share and contribute their thoughts and ideas. Not surprisingly, I learn far more when my mouth is shut and my ears are open!

EXERCISE:

Where can less from you and more from others be a wiser recipe for your future success?

drowning in information

“We are drowning in information and starving for knowledge.”

—Rutherford D. Rogers, Deputy Librarian of Congress

Image of keyboard, hands, coffee, and watch

Image from Unsplash by Catheryn Lavery

Did you know that the average person has five social media accounts, and spends one hour and forty minutes browsing their networks each day?

The average adult also spends more than twenty hours online, and watches over thirty hours of television per week.

How does your usage compare to these statistics? To what degree are you drowning in information?

Unfortunately, many of us simply assume that is “the way things are,” and that we simply need to keep up with the pace of life and swim for our lives.

EXERCISE:

Estimate what percent of the information you take in through social media and other sources is truly valuable and worth knowing.

Begin today, through a more discerning perspective, to remove or eliminate at least one such source until your head is fully above water.

To Profit from Good Advice

“To profit from good advice requires more wisdom than to give it.”

—John Churton Collins, Literary Critic

Image from tanveernasser.com

Image from tanveernasser.com

I put significant focus on an individual’s self-awareness when I begin a new coaching engagement. To do this, I introduce an “inner voice” exercise, in which the person pays close attention to:

  • What their inner voice is saying,
  • Determining if this voice is supportive or critical,
  • Determining how open and receptive they are to the thoughts of others.

Most people discover that when they look for the value and contribution in what others say, they reap greater rewards and boost their relationships.

EXERCISE:

How and in what ways can you shift your own “inner voice” to receive more good advice and wisdom from others?

Wiser To Find Out

“It is wiser to find out than to suppose.”

-Samuel Clemens, writing as Mark Twain

When in doubt

Many years ago I read the book Fierce Conversations by Susan Scott. One of the most significant take-aways from her work was the idea that all conversations are first with ourselves, and sometimes they include others.

In fact, the prefix, “con” means “with” or “together,” and thus a conversation actually includes others. Susan Scott would suggest that what we often have are “versations” with ourselves, without ever reaching out to get the other person’s perspective. We simply suppose or “ass-u-me” we know what the other person is going to say or how they will likely respond. We all know about what assuming can cause.

EXERCISE:

How can you make a wiser choice by using a “when in doubt check it out” strategy in more of your interactions today?