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Learning is a Continuous Process - by Matthew Romans

"It ain't what you don't know that gets you in trouble. It's what you think you know for sure that just ain't so."

The above quote has been credited to both Mark Twain and Will Rogers, among others. No one can say for sure who came up with it, but I think it's a humorous way of saying that we should never truly think we have things completely figured out. I'd like to think that as we age and gain perspective we develop an appreciation for how much more there is to learn. However, there are lots of people out there who, for whatever reason, seem content with their current level of knowledge and are unwilling to keep learning. As I have mentioned in previous articles, this is an example of what Dr. Carol Dweck, author of the book "Mindset", calls the "growth vs fixed mindset." Those with the growth mindset believe that learning is a lifelong process, while those with a fixed mindset have the attitude that they have learned everything they need to be successful. I believe that learning is a continuous process.

I have certainly been guilty of having a fixed mindset many times in my life. When I was younger, like many people, I thought I knew everything about a wide variety of subjects. It's not that I purposely disregarded the advice of my elders, it's that I simply thought I knew better. When I completed my high school football career and wanted to play college football, my head coach and my family encouraged me to pursue a program in Division II or III. I was stubborn; I thought I was good enough to play at Division I-AA (now known as FCS) Towson University. I was not big enough and didn't have a strong enough arm to effectively compete as a quarterback at that level, and while I enjoyed my experience there, I could have had a much better playing career at a smaller school. I thought I knew, but I didn't know. When it came to weight training in my teens and early twenties, I thought I knew exactly what I was doing. I had taken physiology classes in college and read all the bodybuilding magazines. I couldn't understand why my progress was so slow and why I kept getting upper respiratory infections. I didn't know, and didn't know that I didn't know. Even after finally being introduced to proper exercise principles and eventually completing my Level One Super Slow Instructor certification, I thought I had arrived. I thought that having that certificate meant I had learned all that I needed to be an exceptional instructor. I didn't realize then that the learning had just begun.

More is learned from failure than success; most successful people would probably agree. Any great innovator or inventor will fail many times before he or she succeeds. That holds true for Thomas Edison, Steve Jobs, and Alexander Graham Bell. Arthur Jones and Ken Hutchins, two people that I consider to be engineering geniuses in the field of exercise equipment design, probably learned more from equipment prototype failures than they did from their successes. In fact, their successful designs wouldn't have been possible without numerous failures. It was through trial and error during the Nautilus Osteoporosis Project that Ken refined our exercise protocol.

At this point in my early forties, I'm at least smart enough to know what I don't know. As another saying goes ,"if you're the smartest person in the room, then you're in the wrong room." This is why I seek out knowledge from a variety of sources and expose myself to opinions that often differ from my own. There is always something new to learn. At Total Results, we constantly question our methods, seek to gain greater insight, and search for a better way to give you the best exercise experience that money can buy. Our mission is your amazing, and since we consider ourselves to be teachers, we look to pass along to you the knowledge that we acquire. Even if you have been a Total Results client for several years, we like to think that there is always something new that you can learn.

Start the learning process today!

Posted May 09, 2019 by Tim Rankin