“The only true wisdom is in knowing you know nothing.” – Socrates
Last week I had an epiphany that hit me over the head like a ton of bricks—that ‘aha’ was this…one must always be a student. In my opinion, this is the most critical characteristic needed to truly discover and live into your full potential.
Recently I signed up for a webinar by Darren Hardy, the publisher of SUCCESS Magazine. Like Napoleon Hill had done before him (and resulted in the groundbreaking book, Think and Grow Rich), this webinar was a 90-minute long exploration into what he had found after studying and interviewing hundreds of the world’s most extraordinarily successful people. This list included luminaries such as Jack Welch, Donald Trump, Richard Branson, Tony Robbins, Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Joel Osteen, Michael Jordan, Warren Buffett and many more. Through their actual interviews, Hardy discovered six factors that separate the super successful from everyone else:
- Think BIG – they dream the kind of dreams that others said are impossible
- People – they surround themselves with great people
- Hard Work – they have a sickening work ethic
- Focus – they focus on the ONE thing that they are best at
- Failure – they are willing to take risks and see adversity as a challenge
- Growth – they are obsessed with continued learning
Though none of the above listed characteristics are new, the one that stands out and screams, “Do this and the rest follows,” is the last one: growth. Why?
The greatest barrier to insane achievement is the man or woman who already knows how it is. The six inches between their ears is like the following parable:
A young student traveled the planet in search of the secrets of the Universe. Along his journey he became renowned as the greatest student who ever lived. After years of accumulating knowledge, he had only one more person to learn from, a person known as the wisest of wise men. Upon finally meeting the Master he spoke and said, “Master, I am the greatest student who ever lived and you are the wisest in history. I have come to learn from you so I too may know your wisdom.” The Master said, “Please sit and let’s have tea.” After placing a cup in front of the student he began to pour tea until his cup was full and then continued pouring. As the hot tea spilled out onto the students lap, the student exclaimed, “Master, my cup is full, please stop pouring the tea as it is burning my body!” To which the Master replied, “Your mind is like this cup…already full. There is nothing more I can add to it until it is emptied.”
As our lives are lived, the Universe gives us feedback to let us know if we have learned the lessons of life or not. When we learn them, we become at peace by both the results we produce and the knowledge of the principles that were used to do so.
When we don’t learn the lessons of life, we repeat the actions expecting a different result because we have not learned the lesson the first time. If you want to discover and live into your full potential, always be a student. What you’ll find is what Socrates shared, “the only true wisdom is knowing you know nothing.”
Brett Penager, CMO