Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Wednesday Wisdom - Learning What I Don't Know Part Two

Part Two:  Becoming a Successful Student  

"Every person you will ever meet knows something you don't."
Bill Nye


If it is true that every person I will ever meet knows something I don't - and I firmly believe it is - the question then becomes, How can I learn what they know? What kind of approach will enable others to share with me what life's journey has taught them?

From my occasional successes and multiple failures in this area, I have identified three essential ingredients for turning those I meet into teachers and turning me into a successful student. When all three elements are present, my level of learning and my enjoyment of the learning process go through the roof. When any one is missing, I usually learn little or nothing.

Here's the formula:
  • First, I must be genuinely curious about learning what they know.
  • Second, I must ask them the right questions.
  • Third, I must listen purposefully to their answers.

As I wrote down these steps, it occurred to me that this model for acquiring understanding is applicable to any setting and to any field of knowledge. It is required for succeeding in a new job, writing a book, excelling in school from kindergarten to graduate school, developing a new line of business, fostering a personal relationship, or understanding my own children. Each requires genuine curiosity, insightful questions, and purposeful listening.

Each piece of this fascinating three-step sequence warrants its own extended discussion, so please tune in to next week's Wednesday Wisdom. . . .

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Scott Farnsworth is an Attorney at Law and a Certified Financial Planner. He is the Founder and President of two companies: SunBridge, Inc. - An international advisory group for financial advisors and estate planning attorneys and Personal Asset Advisors - a Central Florida based retirement planning group. He is an expert on Social Security Maximization and Tax-Free Retirement. Feel free to email Scott at to help you with your needs.  

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