The #1 Barrier to Learning: Knowing it All
Do you know someone who thinks he or she knows everything there is to know about something?
If so, you know the biggest reason why that person cannot learn.
"You cannot study a subject if you think you know all about it to begin with.
"A student who thinks he knows all there is to know about a subject will not be able to learn anything in it.
"A person might already be familiar with a subject from previous experience and, having had success in that field, now has the idea that he knows all about it."
"With that obstacle in the way, one can become completely bogged* down in his studies and not make forward progress.
"This is true for a student of any subject." -- L. Ron Hubbard (bogged: hindered or slowed)
Symptoms of "Knowing it All"
Instead of learning, you or others say things like:
"I could give a better lecture than that guy! What a waste of my time. I'm taking a nap."
"Whoever wrote this article should have asked for my opinion; I know more than her!"
"This material is too simple for me."
However, if you realize that no one, including you, knows everything about a topic, you can then learn something new. You can improve your knowledge and skill in that subject. You open a door to new knowledge.
How to Handle "Knowing it All"
Try this exercise with a subject about which you feel you know everything there is to know.
1. Find an article you have not read on that subject.
2. Before reading the article, say to yourself, "I already know everything about this subject."
3. Read a few sentences of the article. Are you learning anything?
4. Next, agree with one of these statements:
5. Try reading the article now. Are you learning anything?
Ask anyone, who is wildly successful, if they know everything about their field. In all cases, they will proudly admit they do not. You will find they have a thirst for knowledge. This thirst is essential to their success.
Be thirsty this week!
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