Daily Inspiration 11-10-09

Spread Some Joy Today > Uncategorized > Daily Inspiration 11-10-09

“If you would thoroughly know anything, teach it to others.”

– Tyon Edwards

“We cannot teach people anything;
we can only help them discover it within themselves.”

– Galileo Galilei

It may not seem that these two quotes go together, but to me they are a powerful combination.

It is only in recent years that I have become aware that one of the best and most effective ways of really knowing a thing is to teach it. It is in the attempt to interpret what you know so that someone else can learn it that creates the need for the teacher to understand it better. It is one thing to learn, another to teach that learning to another.

My aspiration has always been to write and to teach. I’ve never taught in school, but became a sales manager because teaching is what I saw a good sales manager as doing to be effective. As a result of this, I’ve studied sales management, sales, psychology, and philosophy in order to be the best that I could be at that position. I took an accumulation of that knowledge and experience and wrote a book on sales called, Accepting the Sales Challenge. All of this not only fulfilled my aspiration but it has given me more to give as I have travelled through life.

More recently, I have begun to understand the quote by Galileo, “We cannot teach people anything; we can only help them discover it within themselves.” As a result of my increased understanding of this quote, I have become a more effective teacher. It is less like putting one brick on top of another and more like focusing a lens.

By learning to teach a thing, your own knowledge is widened to apply more interpretations of a subject. I’ll give you an example. I teach about commercial trucks; the different body applications, how they are used, etc. A service or utility body is typically a body with doors on the side and compartments behind the doors. The idea is to be able to store tool and parts inside, keeping them dry and safe. I teach this by calling those doors closets. Everyone can understand a closet and more importantly, they can understand what we do with closets: we fill them up and they stay full. This relates clearly to the service body and how easily they can be overloaded because of how we feel about closets. So that is an effective interpretation which helps the student not just know what the product is, but to understand the product and its uses and limitations.

This ability to thoroughly know the subject through teaching it is a powerful tool. I try to achieve this with any subject I am interested in. This includes the kind of thoughts I express in these Daily Inspirations. And, it is in the actual doing of the thinking and writing of these that I am expanding my own awareness and knowledge.

Consider things in your life that you would like to thoroughly know and understand. Find some ways to share it after you have studied it for a time. You will find, as I have, that in sharing it with others, you own knowledge and skills are enhanced.

When The Student Is Ready, The Teacher Will Appear!

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