Being Teachable: Opening Doors to New Opportunities

Experience teaches only the teachable. – Vernon Law

Everything we know, we learned from someone else. – John Wooden

As human beings, we are learning from day one.  Before we can run, we must learn to walk. Before we can talk coherently, we must learn to pronounce words. Before we can write, we must learn the alphabet. We spend the good part of our first two decades on a steep learning curve.

To be an effective LIFELONG learner, we must be teachable.

As we grow into adulthood, the ABILITY to learn transforms into a WILLINGNESS to learn. And attitude separates those who resist acquiring new skills from those who are truly teachable.

Some of us shut down in terms of learning for several reasons:

·      We think we know it all.

·      We are afraid to show others that we DON’T know it all.

·      The effort to learn new things becomes overwhelming.

·      We have a difficult time taking constructive criticism.

·      We are resistant to change and thus stuck in our ways.

In pursuing a life truly well lived, both personally and professionally, one of the key characteristics that is crucial to possess is a passion for learning that continues until the day you take your last breath. And this passion goes hand-in-hand with the ability to be “teachable.” To open your heart and your mind to learning something new keeps the world fresh, enhances your ability to land new jobs and opportunities, and gives you the strength to overcome the fear of the unknown.

I have witnessed thousands of students expand their skills exponentially because of their willingness to learn new concepts and their ability to take constructive criticism (and my red pen). And these students continued to succeed in their career because of their willingness to be “teachable.”

When we stop being “teachable,” we become stuck. When we don’t take good, valuable advice from our friends or colleagues, we become stuck. When we stop asking questions, and stop learning, we become stuck.

My passion for learning has resulted in three degrees, three separate careers and the courage to start a new chapter in my life in my mid-50s.

Where will your teachable attitude take YOU? When you are teachable, there are no limits. And it all starts with the willingness to learn.