What a missed opportunity to gain a spurt of concentrated knowledge, for free! Consider for a moment if you could go to a day long seminar, read a 50000 word book, watch a 3 hour documentary, or have a 20 minute conversation with someone whose opinion you respect who did any of the above.
You would have an opportunity to gain the most important parts without the chaff. Certainly there will be a loss of some information, all of the nuances, and most of the emotion, but the knowledge that is shared would be priceless!
Here’s the secret. To paraphrase Don Rockwell,
Any fool can ask the first question; only the wise ask the second.
No one makes you wise.
Here are the types of Second Questions you should to mine for wisdom.
What did you learn? — How are you using your new knowledge?
What are you doing? — How is this important to you?
What challenges are you finding? — How are you solving them?
What’s worked for you? — How did you do it?
What didn’t work as well for you? — How have you changed that?
Disciplining yourself to ask the Second Question, will naturally draw toward the third, fourth, etc., and do so in a way so as not to be tedious. Note, you’re not judging their choices with “why” centered questions, nor are you asking them to justify their time investments with “when” type questions. Instead, you’re actively mining for the key elements of wisdom they can enthusiastically share with you.
So, armed with this new knowledge, please share in the comment below, “what is one thing you learned from this article, and how can you apply it to what you do?” Or, “what was one thing you expected to learn from this article, but didn’t?”
I’m looking forward to hearing your “one thing”.