Make a decree that you will never stop learning

My youngest son has two coaches for his surfing. On Tuesday mornings, his coach is a former professional surfer who is highly regarded globally. On a Thursday morning, his coach is the former coach of current professional surfer Julian Wilson, who went very close to becoming the world champion last year before getting pipped in the final event of the year in Hawaii.

Last Thursday morning, as we turned up early for training, his Tuesday coach was attending the same training session. I was quite shocked to see the up and coming coach still keen to be trained by the old master. There he was, with kids between nine and 15, coming back in to the beach after his quota of three waves to be assessed by the coach on where he can improve.

I mentioned to him that I was impressed that he was not too proud to be getting coached by the ‘competition’ and he told me that there is always more to learn.

My respect for him, while it was already high, increased dramatically. How few of us continue to keep learning? We either think we already know it all, or even if we know we don’t, we get stuck in a rut where we are happy with the limited knowledge we possess.  

Remember, we are told that you ‘cannot teach an old dog new tricks’. If that ridiculous saying is ingrained in us, then we will shut down the ability to keep learning and growing.

My eldest son is close to entering senior school and, predictably, doesn’t like school. He tells us he cannot wait to leave so he doesn’t have to keep learning. I keep reminding him that the older he gets, the more he will realize how little he knows.

The truth is that there is always so much to learn and it is essential that we never stop. Life is about constantly learning – no matter how old you are.

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