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Willing to be a beginner..!
By Robert Clements
Have you ever tried to teach something to a person who knows everything? Even as you start explaining they start nodding their heads and say they know it all.

Or maybe we also do the same thing:

There’s a hotel in Bangkok, that has a water fountain in the lobby that is operated by an infra-red beam of light. When a thirsty person wants a drink, he or she simply bends down and the water automatically turns on. There is a sign above the water cooler that reads, "Stoop and drink."

What a marvelous parable for a life attitude. Stoop and drink. Especially when we have something to learn, when we want to drink from the fountain of knowledge, we may need to stoop and drink.

Like Albert Einstein: He once arrived in London carrying his violin case. After greeting him, an old friend asked, "You still play the violin, Albert?"

The mathematical genius nodded and said, “Yes, but not very well.” He knew that he had much to learn if he were to play the violin well. And he was wise enough to know that he would learn better if could approach it with a sense of humility; he had to stoop in order to drink.

My daughter went skiing the other day in Seattle, where she is studying. She said she was all bruised and hurt at the end of the practice session, because she fell so often. She said, “You’ll never get the hang of it unless you learn the fundamentals.”

Author Barbara Sher says something interesting about this approach to learning new things. She says that you “can learn new things at any time in your life if you're willing to be a beginner. If you actually learn to like being a beginner, the whole world opens up to you.”

I think she’s right. It takes some stooping to approach something new like a beginner. But that is the way we learn best -- at any age.

Over the years I’ve come to realize that anybody can teach me, if I let them. Young people and old people, the uneducated and the learned -- anyone can be a teacher. But not anyone can be a learner. It takes the right kind of attitude to learn. But if I’m able to stoop, I’ll have plenty to drink.

I remember my dad at the age of seventy-five mastering the computer and using the internet. He was willing to learn. He was willing to be a beginner. When he tried to teach me the same things, I remember an initial resistance but soon realized that if I did not stoop I would not learn from him, and stoop I did.

What about you? Are you willing to be a beginner?
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News Updated at : Friday, December 7, 2012
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