Why Learners Are Heroes

Learners Are HeroesOn an airplane. Reading about psychology and education.

Came across this quote from American psychiatrist Thomas Szasz: “Every act of conscious learning requires the willingness to suffer an injury to one’s self-esteem. That is why young children, before they are aware of their own self-importance, learn so easily; and why older persons, especially if vain or important, cannot learn at all.”

Powerful. Transformational. And that’s why I salute the brave thinkers among us.

The very act of learning something new disrupts the way you’ve always seen things-and the way you’ve always been. A fresh idea pushes you out of your comfort zone and threatens the very foundations you’ve built your view of the world on.

That’s scary for nearly everyone. Truly frightening for the vast majority. So rather than experience any form of discomfort, most people regress – and return to their Safe Harbor of The Known. It feels better. Seems safer. But, in truth, it’s not.

The problem is that refusing to learn and grow is the beginning of the end.

Leadership-and life itself-is all about making tomorrow better than today. And stepping into your next level of excellence with every passing hour. To cling to the thoughts and ways of performing that you’ve always known is to resign yourself to being average. And mediocre. A spectator versus in the game.

Neuroscientists will tell you that a single new piece of learning actually changes the very nature of your brain. The circuitry shifts. And the wiring expands. But in order to reach these new lands, we must lose sight of the shore-even for just a little while.

And that takes guts.

And a pure bit of leadership.

Keep Leading Without A Title!

Robin Sharma
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49 Responses to “Why Learners Are Heroes”

  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Oscar Corbelli and Serbond, Steve L. Vernon. Steve L. Vernon said: Why Learners Are Heroes: On an airplane. Reading about psychology and education. Came across this quote … http://bit.ly/er49Ex […]

  2. Lekshmi says:

    Learning takes guts and leadership, very true Robin!! It takes courage to learn something and move out of our comfort zones!!
    Thanks for all the powerful words of wisdom that you are sharing!!!!
    Trying to imbibe them into life!!!
    Thanks Robin.


  3. Paul Castain says:

    Couldn’t agree more Robin!

    Thank you for this gentle reminder!

    Paul Castain

  4. Just love it! Loading myself daily with each and every word you say and applying them in my work. Thank you so much.

  5. Could not agree with you more. The Japanese philosophy “Kaizen” which means ‘continuous improvement’ is possible only through continuous learning. Thanks for helping me lead without a title!

  6. Namaste’, Robin!

    We are all on this planet to expand our Soul, to learn every single day. That’s what I love to do everyday of this life in many ways. I like “diving” in the “Blue Ocean of the Unknown” (like you say), scaring myself. I like embracing fears, because I like growing. Those who don’t embrace their fears, they step away from their Soul’s expansion.

    When we leave the “safe harbour”, embracing what we are fearful of, our comfort zone becomes bigger and bigger!

    Kaizen is so wonderful!

    Great blog and fabulous quote! Thanks for the great sharing!

    All the best always, Robin!

    Carry on in spreading your message! Keep up the wonderful work you are doing!

    Cheers from London Uk.

    With great respect,

    Linda Lattuca

  7. Rajeev T.R. says:


    inspiring millions in the planet,my humble salutations Robin

  8. Ziad A. Zennie says:

    Hello Robin,

    I am an avid reader of your blogs. You’ve put it so succinctly. Simple yet powerful! Ironically though, it would be quite difficult for me to unlearn what you have taught me.

  9. Ravindra says:

    Hello Robin,
    Wonderfully said,ant to learn one has to be humble and set aside one’s ego.Only then life becomes a continuously learning process which it is.Thanks for the gem.

  10. Neal Ely says:

    I think alot about how I can avoid being average, mediocre, and a spectator. In fact, this is why I have recently started following leadership blogs, self-improvement blogs, ect. I have realized that I have not been the best listener and learner, and it’s WAY TOO EASY to get into a comfort zone, and just coast through my job, my business, ect. However, I just refuse to let that happen! Thanks for sharing.

  11. Ashish Vichare says:

    You are just wonderful, Robin!

    Great respect for you always in my Heart. Your inspiring words and your thoughts have changed my life.

    Cheers to life,

    Your Student,
    Ashish Vichare.

  12. Hilda says:

    I really admire you. You inspire me. Thanks for everything Robin Sharma.

  13. Mike Rao says:


    You are one of my mentors.

    Your writings and videos always add to my personal knowledge base. My desire and goal is to be continuously adding value for my clients. To achieve my goal, I must be on a never ending quest for knowledge that will benefit not only me, but more importantly others.

    Thank you for all the value you deliver.

  14. Suresh P says:

    Thank You Robin , for reminding us that life is one big journey into the world of knowledge..and that it takes courage is learn anew , and the key to stay mentally young & fit is to keep on learning all thro’ life ….

  15. Rajeeth Shetty Badur says:

    Thank you and I wish everyone follow the same.We see this in reality,but often forget and repeatedly go to our comfort zone.
    This is an inspiration for me. Thank you Ram Mohan Rai for sharing this information thro face book.
    Jai Hind

  16. Samartha says:


    I am of the opinion that excessive reading somewhat kills your creativity as you are mostly influenced by what you read for the most part. After a while, the originality in the thought process is simply lost to the experience and wisdon gained from reading. Your thoughts?

    Thanks in advance for your response,

  17. Sudhir S says:

    Dear Robin
    Very true , one of the blessing I beleive I have is to keep alive the student in me till the last breath.
    We at Chennai are eagerly waiting to expereince you on 25th Feb
    Love you / Sudhir S

  18. Ravi lotlikar says:

    you are awesome! You have changed my life thanku so much

  19. nishidh says:

    i request your view on this.

    A person of around 37 years of age, daily travels for 3 hours in train since he started his career 16 years back, reads every possible news paper and magazines during the travelling. excellent while debating on various subjects.

    but, he is working on the same position for years and still never there is a sign of achieving some thing more.

    what will u call this??

  20. Dr.Shantala.S.K says:

    Dear robin

    You have always been my management Guru n inspired in many ways in my off n on profession its grt we are fortunate to hear you every now and then and get inspired

    Learn till your last breath is indeed the mantra of leadership

    Thanx a million
    Dr.Shantala Bengaluru , India

  21. Sofia says:

    Little little and I must say very simple thoughts you are sharing with us. Sometimes I think that I can do it because it’s simple but practically very hard to do it. It may be my negligence or may be careless but I’m sure that if I follow the rules then success will be mine.I hope one day I’ll turn the thoughts into actions that imbibe to us. Waiting for your new words……..

  22. On the contrary, every new piece of information makes me feel safer because I feel wiser and more aware of the world! I may not understand the information but I’d definitely want to know it. :)

  23. Mallee says:

    Much awaited and great blog to read on for the week. Thank you very much for sharing. This point is coincidental to my thoughts at this point of time of my life. Excited to see you live in Chennai.


  24. Vangeepuram Sreenathachary says:

    Respected dear Robin,

    I do agree with you. “Every act of conscious learning requires the willingness to suffer an injury to one’s self-esteem.” William Blake points out the same in his poems ‘The Songs of Innocence & The Songs of Experience’. I am reminded of the saying on education: “Education is the progressive realization of one’s ignorance.”

    Thanks a million for such thought-provoking and motivating words.


  25. sayyam says:

    ROBIN ,
    Your every reading words are making ability to do now with get result too in READERS..

    thanks for Share with us

  26. Rajagopalan says:

    Hi Robin

    Thanks for your leadership wisdom. You are my mentor and it is my dream/wish to meet you and listen to your leadership mantras. Though I am in my fifties, it makes me feel younger and wiser day by day by listening to your audios and reading your blogs. You inspire me a lot and step into excellence in my life.

    Thanks very much for your inspirational words

  27. Ana says:

    One of my personal favorite quotes comes from great man, Scott Peck, who said: in order to be reborn, the previous you have to die first… that’s the hardest part.

    I think that whenever you take up a quest of learning, you have to kill a little bit of your old self, and if you are too much attached to it, you’ll never be reborn.

    Many thanks for sharing your thoughts :)…

    Keep up the inspirational work :)…

  28. Harish says:

    We are all on this gorgeous university (our planet) to learn and to expand our consciousness and discover the boundary of our capability. Not embracing our fears, is to shy away from the gorgeous opportunities to define new normal and discovering the boundary of our potential. Not embracing our fears provides only one choice, i.e. to regret later/on our death bed.

  29. Rajesh says:

    Hi Robin,

    It’s truly amazing and inspirational quote.


  30. Nidhi says:

    Dear Robin,
    Great to be actually reciprocating to your thoughts!!!
    The opening quote just caught my attention. It is so true and all the more a valid reason to be in touch with our child-like ‘native’ self through the years of life.
    Cheers, for bringing in so much of cheer to life!!!

  31. Yasin says:

    This is a great piece of work which will help people realise why it becomes so dfficult for them to learn anything new, especially from someone younger. I also hope it works in their favor and they shed the inhibitions and learn something new everyday :-)

  32. Sumithra B says:

    “….injury to one’s self-esteem. That is why young children, before they are aware of their own self-importance…” how true – lovely! the child within an individual who has the innate quest to learn never dies :). Cheers


  33. Harshi says:

    Love it Robin! :) Your words are transformational. Thanks for sharing this.

  34. PaVAn says:

    Very True….

  35. Anjani says:

    Hi Robin!

    It’s always such a pleasure reading you. Yup, you so right, “know-all” attitude is what in most adults keep them from learning new things and experimenting things vs the kids who are so innovative all the while and experimental even if means opening their new toy car and inquisitive about how it works…:-)

  36. Trived says:

    When I learn anything new, I have the feeling that all these ideas are against to my beliefs. I change my opinions with lot of fear about future. But, After reading this article I truly felt that I am in safe zone. Thanks for the article…

  37. IM Ali says:

    Your thoughts and vision has raised me to write about: The true factors of belief of learning, does not lie within the matters of which color or creed we come from and that includes where we were born and migrated to! Your thoughts and ideas makes me want to play vital role as human being to be a Humanitarian4Future and kindness4Future. We as a society lack a common ground! Psychological aspects of true definitions always lacks the true inner aspects of human being and its touch. Like I always say, does a Freudian Slip apply towards Psychologist who are advising us: Do they have a bad day as well like the others, just curious!?! Like when we had civil war in the US, Phrenologist and Neurologist had a feud before Psychology was born, does that make me a thinker or am I still trying to learn to educate myself and others. Now that my thoughts are out shed, would love to hear thoughts! Thank you kindly. Regards.

  38. Yashwant says:

    so very true sir
    superb language used

    how i wish this is circulated to all those men/women who call themselves matured & have a closed/prejudiced look towards the world.

    thanks always sir


    yashwant vaid

  39. sujatha rebekah says:

    Great Robin Sir,You have always touched our hearts,expanded our minds and left us asking for more.God Bless u

  40. jignaparsania says:

    in our worlds nothing comes free for gaining something we have to pay spmething.not always in form of money.may be in form of hardwork,inform of leaving comfort zone……etc and only true learners have dare to pay all these so they are the most courageous and the true hero of this world.

  41. bishesh yadav says:

    “the greatest service we can do is to inspire others and you have done it . my humble salutations to you.”

  42. Ravi Sankar says:

    Robin….great going. You made this point in the book “The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari” that the life you live in the present…is a direct result of your awareness and of the previous life(s) mistakes. The people who come in your present life and who scold you or admonish you are the people who are related to you…and wish to see you improve. The best Improvement and growth happens when you can take criticism and introspect deeply.

  43. Ileana says:

    I agree totaly! Here is a quote I truly like about this subject :”Learning is the beginning of wealth. Learning is the beginning of health. Learning is the beginning of spirituality. Searching and learning is where the miracle process all begins”.
    Jim Rohn

  44. subramanian says:

    thnx robin for sharing one more stupendous way for better life. you are amazing and thnx a heap.

  45. Marcus says:

    Thank you Robin for sharing this, what an excellent article, just made my day!

  46. Payal says:

    superb … felt like a child again while reading… now i want 2 get connected to my innocence & change , … awesome feeling … feels nyc .. really nice. Thank you Robinji.

  47. Amit says:

    I love your writing very much.
    You helped me a lot in my life.

    every time reading your writings .. I feel very energetic for this world.


  48. Omish Benara says:

    I am fond of your Books. Every word of your’s inspires me.

    Thanks a lot and warm regards.

  49. Penelope Goulandris says:

    My life has been transformed by the time I chose to challenge the way I used to see the world. By doing so, I came to the conclusion that “Life is contradicting. Someone has to think outside boundaries to feel happy, but to behave within boundaries to feel free.”

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