About a year into our debt payoff journey, I started to have this feeling that I’d learned all there was to learn about personal finance. After all, for the last 18 months or so, I’d been writing on my own blog, The Frugal Farmer, and devouring information from dozens of other blogs each day. Surely I had to know all there was to know about personal finance and money management, right? Surely there was no need for me to keep on learning in the area of cash flow management. You’ll have to read the post to find out, but one day I learned that I indeed was not done learning about money and money management.
I think that the thought that one knows all there is to know about a certain subject is a common lie that keeps people from growing in all areas. We assume we know all there is to know about our spouse, our job, our kids, our whatever, and because of that, we choose to stop looking for more to learn in those areas.
When we stop working to learn about our children and their feelings/thoughts, for instance, we often leave them feeling unloved and forgotten, at which point they seek out other sources of attention: some good, and maybe some not so good. However, if we choose to keep on learning about our kids, and spending time with them to get to know them better, we help them to feel valued, which in turn increases their confidence and helps teach them to make better decisions.
In my case, when I fell into that time period of thinking I knew it all about money, I later realized (after my revelation that I indeed did NOT know it all) that I was slacking off on our debt payoff goals. Not doing bad, necessarily; just not doing as well as I could have done, due to the fact that my……arrogance – there, I said it – was keeping me from actively learning more.
When I got back on track, humbled myself and started actively working to learn again, things picked up. I started thinking of new and different ways to manage money, reduce spending and put more toward debt.
Be humble enough to keep on learning. Read books on personal finances. Follow bloggers who write about debt and personal finances. Talk to people who have managed their money well. You don’t have to have it all figured out to get started in the right direction, but your path will be richer if you keep learning along the way.
Obviously, you don’t necessarily have to reinvent the wheel in an area where you want to learn and grow, but by taking advantage of learning other people’s perspectives on things and keeping yourself open to always being willing to learn, you open yourself up to new ideas and new ways of thinking. Those new ideas and new ways of thinking might not always be good, but by seeking them out, you give yourself a chance to either reject them as not for you, or else you give yourself a chance to improve your money, marriage, relationship with your kids or whatever.
This is why it’s so important that one be humble enough to keep on learning. By doing so, you keep yourself open to great ideas that have the potential to change your life.
Do you live a life in which you always work to keep on learning, either about the subjects around you or about new things? If so, what benefits have you found from being always willing to learn? Conversely, has there been a time in your life in which you refused to learn more about a subject and it affected you negatively? Please share, and help us all learn from you. 🙂
*Photo courtesy of JP McEvoy