As you examine your mistakes, you realise it was your thinking at the time that caused them, and that’s why you need to keep challenging your own thinking. ‘Let the wise listen and add to their learning.’ How do you do that? By learning to appreciate how others think and by continually exposing yourself to people who are different from you. You will think like the people you spend the most time with. When you spend time with people who think outside the box, you’re more likely to break new ground.
Let’s face it, any time we find a way of thinking that works, our greatest temptation is to rely on it repeatedly—even if it doesn’t work in new situations. When your goal is to protect the success you already enjoy, you put the brakes on the process that can lead you to even greater success. Holding on to a good tradition is a good thing. But you need to remember that every tradition was originally a good idea, perhaps even a revolutionary idea, but every tradition may not be a good idea for the future.
When you cling to what’s already in place, you resist change—even change for the better. That’s why it’s important to challenge your own thinking. If you’re too attached to how things are done now, nothing will change for the better. Dr John Maxwell writes: ‘In your early years you won’t be as wrong as people think you are. In your later years you won’t be as right as people think you are. And all through the years you will be better than you thought you could be.’