I am Humbled By What I Don’t Know

Never before have opportunities to learn and access to information been so readily available. I may be humbled by what I don’t know but I do know where to start my pursuit when faced with the opportunity to learn something new or I require clarification of an idea or thought ~ thank god for my computer.

In addition, the network of people in my life provides even greater access to more information and alternative perspectives, more often than not bringing to my attention things I had not considered. I sometimes wonder if we all know more than we did a generation ago or are we more generalized in our knowledge base, more lateral thinking and less depth. Regardless, it is imperative that you constantly build your network; this will inevitably be the single biggest asset that you possess.

The new issues are not what we don’t know it is how we access the information we have stored, regardless if that storage is cerebral, external files or through sources in our network of contacts, associates and friends.

For me it comes down to just two things. First is embracing a system or way of curating all of the information in a way that ideally facilitates intuitive or easy recall at a later date. Having the information is not worth much if you can’t find what you are looking for.

Secondly I place a very high value on the art of asking the right question. Asking the right question allows you the opportunity to refine your thinking, clarify your premise and optimize your ability to strengthen your beliefs. Be prepared to ask questions that open the conversation and avoid statements asked in the form of a question, this is not Jeopardy.

When I know I don’t know, I know where to start ~ Think World Class

Don’t Let Schooling Interfere With Your Education ~ Mark Twain

When I was in high school I was not very engaged, most days I just went through the motions and some days I didn’t even do that. As a matter of fact I used to tell people that high school was the only thing that truly interrupted my education.

I soon realized what I was giving up by not being fully engaged and taking responsibility. At that point, I committed to being a lifelong learner. Being curious, questioning the status quo and absorbing like a sponge from mentors and thought leaders, I love to read just about anything I can get my hands on. Learning is a lifestyle and not to be relegated to a specific time or topic. Over the many years since high school, my commitment to being a lifelong learner has served me well.

An inactive mind, like any muscle that is neglected for too long, starts to atrophy whereas an active mind will stay young and continue to learn. The science of neuroplasticity has conclusively proven that growth and mental capacity does not stop at a certain age but will continue to expand for a lifetime if stimulated. In addition recovery from strokes and traumatic brain injury, that was never before considered to be possible, is now happening with new and very encouraging results for some patients.

Dr. Norman Doidge’s book “The Brain That Changes Itself” is a great read for anyone interested in the fascinating leaps and bounds made in the frontiers of brain science. I highly recommend it.

So in the infamous words of the great Mark Twain “Don’t let schooling interfere with your education.”

Being a lifelong learner is Thinking World Class

First Born

A while back I came across an article at CBS.com entitled Personality Traits Linked to Birth Order. According to the article (they actually said this) most only children are first born ~ do you think so!

Being the first child in our family I always thought I would make a great only child; the only possible thing that could get in the way, siblings.

I can still remember Mrs. Robson from next door asking “how do you like having a baby brother Brent” I looked her straight in the eye and said “what I really wanted is a dog”. Next thing you know there is a baby sister in the family and still no dog.

Karen was a sweet little girl; she had everyone wrapped around her finger. In her teens she entered the Miss London contest and then went on to Miss Canada, later that year in Lima, Peru she was crowned Miss Universe. She went from home town girl to international jet setter in just a matter of months.

I went into real estate.

Karen moved to New York, she had a Manhattan apartment with a view of the park, her room-mate was Miss U.S.A. ~ you know, when I was 18 Miss U.S.A. would have been my first choice for a room-mate too.

What a life, first class travel around the world, hanging out with celebrity types, gifts, glamour, the whole shebang.

I was doing Sunday open houses in the middle of a recession and not well either.

Now on the other hand, my brother (back to that CBS article) turns out he is a classic middle child. The article said that the middle child was generally the polar opposite of the older sibling.

So Mark became the President and founding partner in a wildly successful international internet company that sold for multiple millions of dollars.

Being the polar opposite I explored the other end of the financial spectrum.

There was a time that I didn’t think I measured up, and then I realized I was thinking middle class, so now I consider myself a recovering middle class thinker. It isn’t the events that we have lived but how we choose to have them define who we are.

Think World Class