A friend once told me that I was an ‘achiever.’ Not an over-achiever, he told me, just an achiever. I knew exactly how much I needed to do to be successful, and that was how much I did. Nothing more and certainly nothing less. In high school, this earned me very good grades and a very poor attendance record. I think I was a bit self-righteous. I knew I could get good grades without attending class; I knew I could study for an hour and pass any test; I knew I could whip out an essay a few hours before it was due and still do well. I felt like I was already smarter than the teachers, like they couldn’t teach me anything I couldn’t learn from the book in half the time. But I never even gave them the chance to teach me. I certainly learned all about trigonometry and the civil war. But I thought I was better, smarter, more clever than the educational system, and now I will never know what I may have learned about life had I given my teachers a chance to teach.
Challenge #24, January 24, 2011: Don’t allow your pride or your arrogance to stop you from learning today. The bum on the street corner may not be equal to you in net worth, but maybe he makes up for it in wisdom. Your knowledge of your profession may far surpass your intern’s, but maybe she can give you a lesson on how to treat people. Today, don’t let your self-proclaimed superiority prohibit you from letting others teach you.