Thursday, March 20, 2008

26. Listen to learn

If one is keen to learn, there is no limit to opportunities. One can learn from books, newspapers, television, radio, traveling … the list is pretty long. But the best way to learn, perhaps, is to learn from one's failures. A child falls repeatedly before he acquires the ability and confidence to walk. His failure is the key to his success. As the child grows into a teenager and then an adult, this applies to other fields of life as well.The only problem with this approach is that no additional time has been given to human beings to enable them to learn from their failures. Life itself may come to an end by the time one is ready to succeed after his quota of failures.The best course, therefore, is to learn from the failures of others. There is no dearth of people who will be dying to share their failures with you, if you have the patience to listen to them. Show a keen interest in their stories, ask them questions, clear all your doubts and encourage them to provide you all details of their failures. You will not only learn a lot, but will also earn their gratitude.From a purely selfish point of view, this makes great sense. If you talk more than you listen, it is the other person who benefits more. But if you listen more than you talk, you are likely to acquire new wisdom that will help you avoid pitfalls. Surely, you are not keen on falling into pits to discover by yourself where they lie.Sometimes, we feel irritated when someone starts narrating his failures. We dub him as one who spreads negativity and try to shun his company. We need to understand that while smile is a great virtue to have, it is the sad types who have more to offer. Their sadness should be looked at as an opportunity from which a keen listener has immense benefit to derive.If you cannot readily find people who are walking failures, listen to people who are willing to talk about their achievements. You will not only learn, but also be envious of them. The envy and the learning will be a deadly combination which can put you firmly on way to success.

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