Gifts, are they really ours to keep to ourselves? Do we have a responsibility to humanity to share our gifts with others? Or, do we keep them to ourselves? Is that selfish thinking?
I believe we serve two masters: ourselves and others. Sometimes the first one rules over the other.
I serve myself by being a learn-all and consuming everything I can get my hands on. I serve others by taking those learns and feedback I received along the way of my learning, then sharing it back out. My hope is it helps others learn and accelerate their own work. You can read that in my Implicit Promise on the site. I want anyone I come into contact with, whether for the first time or 12th time, to be in a better place then when I first connected with them.
I don’t want to regret any opportunity to put myself in a better place so that others can benefit from it. That’s what is in it for me. I don’t want to regret one minute of my life. Or, my contribution to life around me.
We can make all the excuses in the world about why we don’t have time, the skills, people to learn from, or things to read/watch/listen to. Its never to late to acquire a new skill or help someone. We choose to not do so. Let me be clear, its a choice. We are not owned by our circumstances, we allow them to own us. We opt out.
I have the blessing and the opportunity to work daily with some of the most incredibly intelligent people in the world. There is no way I can be as awesome or skilled as they are at what they do. The secret? I don’t even try to be as great as they are. I just try to understand why they do what they do and how they do it. The best thing I can do for someone that does want to be the expert at the skill in question, is give them someone that is. Even if that means its not me.
I don’t work so hard to be an instant master. That’s a depressing road to take yourself down. There’s to much access to information to try to be an instant expert at everything. You don’t have to be a master before you can share with others what you learn or acquire for a skill. You just have to be moderately good at it. Cover the basics and be good with that. Then move on to the next curiosity you have or skill you want to learn more about.
Serve both masters: yourself and others. People need you and what you’ve learned. Mastered or not, doesn’t matter. They just want to learn. Be a resource. Bandura’s Social Learning Theory posits that people learn from one another via observation, imitation, and modeling. So, wether you keep it to yourself or not, your teaching others with your learns or work.
The question: Is it what you want them to learn?
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