Every day is a learning experience. Now, having spent just over 50 years on the third rock from the sun, I am convinced that my kids are smarter than me. Way smarter!
It is human evolution; people becoming ever smarter, all the time, continually. It is a slow process - like evolutionary changes in all living organisms - requiring several generations to become evident, or obvious to casual observers.
Some people claim evolution is just a theory. That is correct, much like the theory of gravity, relativity, or… You know who you are, and I still love you, but don’t be ignorant! The learning and knowledge that my kids share with me surrounds you as well. All you require is an open mind.
The other day, I mentioned that our kids are smarter than what we are, to one of my peers, of similar age. Without hesitation, he replied that even if that were true, they lack experience.
What experience? Work? Relationships? Perhaps past successes that allow you to think of yourself as being smart? Have you taken time to pause and consider that your vast life experience may be dated, no longer be relevant in 2014?
Your past experience unfortunately permeates everything that you learned by yourself, or that you were taught to believe. And I mean everything!
Are you even able to question anything without feeling guilty; guilt often driven by self-doubt, insecurity, oppression and other undesirable behavior taught to you by parents, teachers, preachers?
Three beliefs often underscore false reliance on past experience: (1) the older you get… the better you tell people you were at… (2) you know you are only as good as your last, and most recent past success, and (3) whatever you are failing at today… used to work really well in 1985.
I was following my @rudibest Twitter feed this past weekend, and came across a debate between two people that struck me as something more than simply academically of interest.
It was a Twitter conversation between an #OldWall analyst going by a handle that includes the word “bubble”, and a young lady who includes the suffix “lass” in her Twitter handle. Bubble is of my generation. Lass: young enough to be his daughter or mine.
Basically, the difference in opinion was marked. Bubble’s entire existence - on Twitter anyway - revolves around predictions of financial doom and gloom. Student debt, mortgage debt, government debt, overvalued equities, the Fed printing money, etc.
Lass’ self-describes as a “Municipal bond market geek.” But, she is a modern woman, a millennial if I were to be bold enough to guess her age from her profile pic. And confident, very direct.
In response to Bubble’s prediction of pending financial doom, she replied:
She is absolutely correct. It is her world now. It is also my sons’ world now; a world that belongs to their millennial peers. It is their world.
The beauty of evolution is the essence of survival. Younger people become stronger, faster, smarter, more efficient and more effective, every single second!
You may not notice. In fact, it is unlikely that you will be able to notice, because it is less obvious than the long-term effects of ageing, loss of strength or agility as one ages, or even weight-gain spread (pun intended) over a few decades.
Your kids are already smarter than you. Your vast portfolio of skills and life experiences are mostly redundant, unless refreshed and upgraded every single day.
If all one has to offer is memories of past successes, a valuable contribution to society may simply be getting out of the way of learning and development. A natural process also called the circle of life, or survival of the fittest. That is also why people of lesser skills are replaced by people with greater skills, every day.
Learn while you can, and learn while you earn!