Live and Learn … and Teach

by Ron Haynes

Can you imagine what your life would be like if no one taught you anything – if you had to learn everything by yourself? Assuming our basic needs for food, water, shelter, and companionship were met, I doubt any of us would have made much of our lives at all.

teaching Teaching others is innate in all of us to a degree. We long to communicate easier ways to get across town, to share our secret for a perfect cheesecake, to clue someone else in about how to deal with a cranky bookkeeper, to tell a co-worker about a speed trap on the highway, or to discuss what we learned from reading a finance book. Those lessons are then passed on to others, who benefit from our experiences and advice.

Sometimes, though, we withhold information. We live and learn ourselves, but we don’t want to teach those lessons to others. Why?


We don’t want to appear stupid so we don’t tell others about mistakes we made and help them learn from them.

invest, investor, investing, lending


We want all the glory for knowing something and we want to appear more “in the know” than someone else.


We aren’t willing to explain the lessons we learned to someone because we’re in too big of a hurry and our time is too valuable.


We don’t realize that we learned a valuable lesson and others could potentially benefit from our experiences.


We don’t like the person we’re speaking with and we certainly don’t want them to benefit from anything we worked for.

All negative traits for sure.

The benefits of sharing our life lessons

There are some real benefits you accumulate when you share information with others.

It creates an instant bond

When you share your experiences with others, they get to know you better and you’re better able to connect with them on a deeper level. Friends share beneficial information with each other.

You cement the lesson in your own life

Nothing helps you learn a subject better than teaching it and if you learned a powerful life lesson, teaching it to others will help make it rock solid in your own life.

You become more “real”

If you’ve ever had the privilege of knowing someone famous, you know what their hang-ups are, you know their weaknesses. It makes that person more real to you because you know them on the inside. Sharing painful life lessons that you learned with someone else breaks down any barriers they had in their mind and makes you more real and believable to them.

So, take a few moments and teach someone else what you’ve learned, but do so without condescension, with a spirit of humility and reap the benefits in your own life. That’s one of the driving motives behind The Wisdom Journal!

Photo by foxypar4

About the author

Ron Haynes has written 988 articles on The Wisdom Journal.

The founder and editor of The Wisdom Journal in 2007, Ron has worked in banking, distribution, retail, and upper management for companies ranging in size from small startups to multi-billion dollar corporations. He graduated Suma Cum Laude from a top MBA program and currently is a Human Resources and Management consultant, helping companies know how employees will behave in varying situations and what motivates them to action, assisting firms in identifying top talent, and coaching managers and employees on how to better communicate and make the workplace MUCH more enjoyable. If you'd like help in these areas, contact Ron using the contact form at the top of this page or at 870-761-7881.