I had just finished up a large project. By every measure it was a tremendous success. I was proud of the effort I had put into it and especially proud of the efforts of my fellow team members.
A person a little higher in the organization than me told me the event was a huge success. I commented that I had learned a lot and they said “that’s too bad cause we’re never doing that again.” The implication was that whatever I had learned would go to waste.
They were wrong about what I had learned going to waste. They were wrong because learning is never wasted. All learning, I repeat, all learning is beneficial.
I had an outstanding teacher in the 7th grade. His name was Cyril Paul. He was a life changing kind of teacher and I’ve never forgotten him or the lessons he taught me. I tried finding him several years ago to give him a proper thank you and to let him know how he changed my life. My search unfortunately did not succeed.
I remember complaining to him one day about some junk (in the infinite wisdom of a 12 year old I was certain it was junk) he was teaching in math class. I said “I’m going to be a baseball player, I’ll never use this.”
He said I could be right, I might never need that particular knowledge. But he quickly added that learning how to solve problems would benefit me the rest of my life. He said that every class I was in was serving two purposes. Teaching me whatever the subject was and teaching me how to learn. Every single class was teaching me how to learn! I’m not sure when I discovered he was right about that, I think it came upon me slowly. But he was absolutely right.
I am still learning today. I hope you are too.
No one can take your education from you. Don’t think for a minute that something you’ve learned will be of no use to you in the future. You never know when some tidbit of knowledge from your past will come in handy.
It’s never been easier to add to your base of knowledge than it is today. There are tons of good online classes and many of them are available at no cost to the learner. Remember, the most successful people learn something new almost every single day.
Don’t use lack of time as an excuse for not learning. If educating yourself is a priority then time won’t be an issue.
So, what are you learning today?
3 thoughts on “Learning is Never Wasted”
Great reminder Steve. No one can take from us that which we’ve learned. We must give it away from lack of use.
But if we reflect on our experiences, we hang on to the lessons longer. And as a bonus, we may learn even more by careful reflection. Many great lessons come in the rear-view. Some of my greatest lessons came after several “classes,” or challenging experiences, because I was in too big a hurry to move on from the negative experience the first few times.
Thanks for a great post!
Thanks Mike, I too have repeated “classes” sometimes simply because I didn’t believe I had anything to learn. That might have been the hardest lesson of all… that I’ll always have something to learn. 🙂