A teachable spirit is the beginning of knowledge.
A friend of mine who has shown in tangible ways what prospering can look like, with a development company and property holdings in many places, once told me how he started. In fact, it’s always how he starts. When he goes to a new area for possible development, he begins by asking questions. He doesn’t start by subtly letting others know how much he’s already acquired or succeeded. No, he takes the quiet approach, listening, learning, taking in what others are happy to share.
In any given session he comes out with far more useful information than if he’d done most of the talking. And a much better chance of prospering.
He’s learned the value of the proverb, Whoever heeds instruction prospers.*
It sounds easy but, in fact, it requires a certain humility, which isn’t always easy.
It’s a starting again from the bottom, a willingness to concede that, as amazing as it sounds, we may not know all there is to know.
I remember as a teenager developing the habit of responding to every statement I heard with, “I know.” I finally realized it was working against me. I was only defending my lack of knowledge and preventing any new knowledge coming in.
Happily, we can grow beyond our sophomore years. The Greeks saw all this clearly: sophos wise, moros foolish.
In a sense, we need to be as a child once again, always absorbing, always curious, always ready to be taught.
Here are some synonyms for a teachable spirit:
capable of being instructed,
apt to learn,
Personally I find all of these terms quite positive and attractive, terms I’d like to be known by. Indeed, I find them instructive.
In all things, in order to succeed, take the humble approach. Don’t be defending what you already know; be ready to learn what you don’t.
There’s much more out there of the latter kind.
* Proverbs 16:20