The process of learning

“Despise learning and make everyone pay for your ignorance.” – Chinese Proverb

This Chinese proverb is interesting. It tells us that what we don’t want to learn will eventually affect those around us for the worse. Sounds a bit harsh doesn’t it? But let’s flip the coin for a second. How about; “Love learning and let everyone be blessed by your knowledge.” Perhaps that’s a little more encouraging. We really need to understand this thing called learning because quite simply…we can’t avoid it. Whatever you want to do in life, whoever you want to be in life, I’m here to tell you that there will always be a learning process – embrace that process. In your job embrace the process of learning, in your relationships embrace the process and in your daily endeavours embrace the process. When we get challenged in life we shouldn’t take it personally but rather as an opportunity to change our perspective and ask ‘What am I learning here?’ If we want to improve ourselves and the lives of those around us then we have to welcome the process of learning. Learning is not some little kiddies’ word that adults have no use for. Rather learning is something that should be accepted by any individual who wants to improve or excel in an area of their life.

Learn for the fruit of it

Another notable Latin proverb says “Learning has sour roots, but pleasant fruits.” Learning doesn’t always feel sweet, but for us to reap the fruit of our labour we must go through the process. I remember many years back when I was first learning to drive. I can’t say that I really enjoyed the whole process; stalling at green lights, watching frustrated drivers overtake me, being shouted at by my instructor, ‘Drive in a straight line! No, not like that, the other side of the road!’ Oh what memories. But although the process wasn’t so nice, seeing the progress overtime was incredibly motivating. What kept me going was the goal of being able to drive my own car - legally. Similarly we have to learn to develop ourselves. There’s always a struggle in improving ourselves, but we have to look past that struggle and towards the goal.

Stay productive in learning

It’s inevitable that we will make mistakes as we attempt to improve ourselves, but what’s important is that we stay productive. As long as we’re giving our best we should accept productive mistakes as part of the process. If we don’t then we can easily become disheartened. Imagine if the little baby that was learning to walk gave up on his (or her) first fall – then he’d never learn to walk. That baby thinks to himself, ‘I know that there’s something in this trying to balance on these two little legs and I’m determined to find out just what it is!’ Every time he attempts to get up he doesn’t realise that his muscles are strengthening, his bones are getting sturdier and he’s building a mindset that refuses to let life’s challenges break him down. Even so we must become like little children (Luke 18:17) and trust that God has given us the ability to learn to be so much more. If you’ve tried something and messed up get back up and learn the lesson. You’re no use to anyone lying on the floor blocking the pathway. Did you lack knowledge? Did you have a good plan? Where could you have got better advice?

I will leave you with these thoughts. View every experience as a chance to learn. Don’t despise the process but change your perspective and welcome it – the world will be a better place for it.

God bless and protect

Quote of the week:
“Life is a series of experiences, each of which makes us bigger, even though it is hard to realize this. For the world was built to develop character, and we must learn that the setbacks and grieves which we endure help us in our marching onward.” - Henry Ford


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