“You can’t learn anything, until you admit you don’t know everything!”

What makes someone a non-learner?

All of us are born with a deep curiosity and desire to learn.  If you have teen aged children you may doubt that last statement, but I challenge you to recall that teenager’s favorite word from when he was two years old.  “Why?”  You remember that?

What happened to that kid? The one that asked “why?” constantly.  What happened to you?

Benjamin Barber, an eminent sociologist, once said, “I don’t divide the world into the weak and the strong, or the successes and the failures… I divide the world into the learners and nonlearners.”

These are the issues addressed in Carol Dweck’s book, Mindset.  Carol Dweck is professor of psychology at Stanford and in her book she writes: “Students who hold a fixed view of their intelligence care so much about looking smart that they act dumb.”  In what ways do people with a “fixed” mindset act dumb you may ask?

In her book she describes students who give up chances to learn new things for fear that in the process they may appear less intelligent.  Subconsciously people with a “fixed” mindset think to themselves, “what if I don’t know what I’m about to learn…someone may think I’m not smart, and my self-image couldn’t handle that.”  Dweck writes, “what could be dumber than giving up a chance to learn something that is essential for your own success?”

But this is what so many of us do.  In an effort to maintain the “smart” image we have of ourselves we avoid situations, including new learning opportunities, where we might not “look” smart.  To do otherwise takes real courage.

If you are interested in investigating new opportunities to learn, to develop personally, and to grow…if you are interested in discovering your potential so that you can maximize your well-being, then we should talk.  I have spent the past 25 years mentoring and coaching people toward a positive life trajectory.

Please email me at coach@mitchcowart.com

Categories: Life Coaching, Uncategorized

1 reply


  1. The Scarcity Heuristic: « Mitch Cowart

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