Every person you meet has something to teach you, you just have to be willing to learn. Today, Brittany and Ronni talk about the importance of listening and learning from others.
Here’s a transcript of our conversation:
Brittany: Hi, Ronni.
Ronni: Hi, Brittany.
Brittany: So, I have been so excited about the new Tuttle Twins book 12 Rules Bootcamp. In fact, I just got mine in the mail I think two days ago. You
Ronni: Did? Oh, I haven’t gotten mine yet.
Brittany: I am so excited about it. Connor, let me in on the Secret as they were getting it ready because I am the biggest Jordan Peterson fan. So, excited. And we will put a link in the show notes because again, I’m just so excited for this book. I’m so excited that young kids get to get a peek at what these rules are like. So, today I want to talk about one of the rules, and the rule is actually, I don’t want to say the name of you. We’ll get there. That’ll be a treat. So, first things first is that no one can have perfect knowledge of everything. That’s something that Hayek an economist we’ve talked about on the show a ton. He had talked about something called the knowledge problem, and that is at central authorities, they can’t ever plan something for everybody because they really can’t properly do that. They don’t have the information because for them to centrally plan like an economy, for example, they would have to have perfect knowledge of everything. And since consumers buy things based on personal preference, what they want, and their own set of ideals, it’s literally impossible for just a handful of people to do all that planning, which is what the book Miraculous Pencil is about. There’s no one person who can do that alone. And so it’s not even just about personal preference, it’s about that the skills we have. You need someone skilled in wood, someone who can give you the lead if you want to make a pencil. No person has all that. So the rule today is to learn, and I think I’m going to butcher what it’s actually written as in the book, but it is to try to always learn from others what you can learn from other people. And in Peterson’s lingo, he says, always assume the person you are listening to might know something you don’t. And the reason I just remembered that is because I have the 12 rules in calligraphy framed on my wall.
Ronni: Oh yeah, you’re a big fan. I think we’ve talked about this before.
Brittany: Yeah, I got to meet him once. I’ve seen him speak a few times. Yeah. He’s helped me a lot in my life to try to really become an adult because even though I am older than I’d like to be, it took me a long time to get to a place where I felt like a real adult. And so I am so thankful to him for that. So, that’s what we’re talking about today is why it’s important to learn things from other people because we have to work together to share this knowledge. And the same is true in regular life, not just in the economy. So, you don’t have all the knowledge or wisdom, which is what I like to call learned knowledge that you learned through experience. So, we don’t have all that on our own. Just think about you’re a mom, Ronni, when your kids are growing up, they have to learn how to do basic things they don’t know how to do. You have to teach them to talk, you have to teach them to feed themselves. There’s little things that they just don’t know. And we have to learn all those things from other people. And before I get into learning from people who are doing good things, there’s also so much to learn from people who aren’t doing so well.
Ronni: Very good point.
Right? Yeah, I think I probably learned more lessons from that. So, Ronni, I’m going to put you on the spot for a minute. Do you think there is a time, and you can do either or, about a time you learned an important lesson from someone that helped you in your life, and maybe it’s somebody that you didn’t, the lesson was like, oh, don’t do that. Don’t do that.
Ronni: See that? It’s a good question. And when you put me on the spot, it’s hard for me to think of, wait, don’t worry, I have an answer still. But I don’t have one particular thing that comes to mind. But I tend to be someone who is, as you mentioned, always learning. And I tend to be always picking up when I am meeting people or even talking to people that I already know. Even little things like, oh, I really like how that person explains something. Or, oh, I really like how that person handled this situation. I had never thought of that before. And so I feel as though I am picking up these little bits of information from people in almost all of my interactions with them. And sometimes, yes, it is bad. Ooh, yeah, that was not appealing, or that did not work out well, or Ooh, that person yelled at that person and nothing good came out of that. I’m not going to do that. I feel like I’m always learning from other people constantly.
Brittany: I feel the same. And I’m glad you mentioned that you said, I like how somebody explained something because one thing I’ve really been doing the last few months is I’ve met a few people that are just, they have such good energy and spirit about them when you talk to them, and they’re just so kind and so compassionate. And I was thinking, I’m like, I’m kind of a loud scatterbrained person, and that doesn’t mean you can’t be a nice person too, but these people are just so soft-spoken and common and just the nicest people. And I kept thinking, I want to be more like this person. And so I kind of try to emulate that in my life. Maybe we didn’t have a conversation or something, but I see something in them that I like so much that I want to model. I want to model my own life after them and like I said, I’ve also learned a lot from people who I don’t like what they’re doing, people who I think, okay, they treat people really bad, or they’ve made really bad choices in their life, and I don’t want to do that. Or even career-wise, I can see other writers and saying, all right, maybe they did this wrong. I’m going to do this better in my career. I’m not going to write for that type of publication, write for this one. And even in comedy, I see that a lot with like, okay, I like the way that person told that joke. I would never steal a joke or anything, but okay, a good one that was funny, just learning from things like that. But when it comes to more intellectual things, like learning how to write, having a mentor has been really important to me. And during my time at FEE, and I think we had him on the show a long time ago, there is a guy named Dan Sanchez who works for FEE, Foundation for Economic Education. And he was a big mentor for me when I first became a writer. And he was so great because I’m not an economist, I just play one on TV. I just like to read about it for fun. But Dan had a degree from Berkeley in economics, and so he would help me really get the concepts, and then I would take them and write about ’em. So, it was really great to have somebody that I could learn from. So, again, having a mentor, Emma and I talked about this maybe even a year ago, is a really important thing. But I want to go back to talking or to learning from people who fail. If you’re an entrepreneur and you realize that there’s a flaw in someone else’s product or service, that’s really good knowledge for you, that’s good for you to learn because then you can say, I can make this better, and you can take something and you can improve it. And so I like that. Also when we talk about learning from things that don’t work and even Jordan Peterson, who the book, this book is modeled after he’s gone through some hard times. His wife got sick, and it was a really hard time for him and his family. But one reason he means so much to me is that he’s very honest about those trials. And so I could watch him struggle, but then also watch him conquer and be victorious. And so you learn a lot from watching people do that. But another thing that I want to talk about is learning things from somebody you may not agree with principally or ideologically because there were times in college when I would argue with socialists, and I would think, well, I’m going to win the argument. They’re dumb, they’re socialists. So I’m right and I still think I was right. But as it turns out, you can still be really smart and be a socialist. What I mean by smart is like book smart, some of my most worthy opponents debating who were socialists were very well read. And so they knew all their material. And so it was funny because you learn from them too. And maybe you learn to strengthen your own argument because they poke holes in yours and you say, okay, I’ve learned something from you. I can do that differently. Or you just learned something from someone you didn’t expect. So I guess, oh, go on. Yes, please.
Ronni: Can I pop in there? Only because I think that you mention that is one of the greatest things that people of today should learn or practice, which is engaging with engaging by meaning, talking to people who have very different opinions and thoughts than you. And instead of being like, oh, their thoughts are stupid, you thinking, oh, the socialist thoughts are stupid, I’m not going to listen to them actually talking to ’em. Because you said you realize that some of them are very intelligent. And so when you actually give them a little bit of respect of, okay, you’re an intelligent person, I’m willing to listen to all of your thoughts and hear them out, and then you can counter back and say, oh, I hear what you’re saying. Here’s what I think. Here’s why I don’t think those things work. And when you show them respect, they’re more likely to show you respect and you can get somewhere. So, talking about learning from people, when you see people do that, so, when you see people who are really great examples of being able to have a good conversation back and forth, even though you don’t agree, that’s one of those times where you can say, oh, hey, I really like how this person talked to me. Even though we disagree, I’m going to start talking to people that I disagree with that way. And so I think that’s a really great thing. I just wanted to bring up that point.
Brittany: No, I think that’s absolutely, right that hits the point I was trying to make. Oh, I think that’s perfect. And yeah, there’s so much we can learn from other people, and I think almost every single one of us can get caught in the mindset of like, well, we know everything that we need to know. And maybe like you said, you’re a constant learner. And I consider that I consider myself to be a lifelong learner as well. But I do sometimes forget to learn lessons from everybody. Even people, sometimes there are people at work that annoy you. And sometimes I take that lesson as, you know what, I need to be kind to this person no matter what. So, it doesn’t just have to be talents or intellectual. There is always something to learn always, every interaction you have with another person you can learn something from. And so that’s what I would encourage all you guys to do the next time you’re talking to anyone, think what lesson can I learn right now? What is this person? What can this person teach me? And I bet you’ll find more than one thing.
Ronni: That’s a really good thought. I like that.
Brittany: Right? Thank you. I think so too. See, I don’t need to know anything new. I know everything.
Ronni: I’m kidding.
Brittany: We’ll wrap it up there. Thank you so much for listening, and don’t forget to like and subscribe, and to tell your friends. And until next time, we’ll talk to you later.
Ronni: All right, see you soon.