Prodigious Learner

by | Oct 11, 2018 | Self-Leadership, YouLeadU | 0 comments

My top strength according to StrengthsFinder is Learner.

I knew it.

I love learning. Years ago, there was an orange juice commercial with the tagline, A day without orange juice is like a day without sunshine. That’s how I feel about learning.

Learning something new every day is truly enlightening.

I do not feel obliged to undertake new fields of study every day. Most often, I dive deeper into an area of interest. I have to fight the temptation to go too deep and to stay too long.

Some of the best advice I ever heard came from pastor, professor, and author Calvin Miller. He told a group of college students I was part of to “Read broadly, but not too deeply.”

Read Broadly, But Not Too Deeply

His point was for us to gain the ability to speak intelligently on almost any subject worth discussing without becoming an overbearing know-it-all.

One area where I am currently learning is how to utilize Siri more fully on my iPhone. The recently-released version of iOS makes new tools available. However, I may require a new iPhone XS Max for ultimate productivity.

(Don’t tell our CFO. It’s better that he find out after I have upgraded. After all, it’s easier to get forgiveness than permission.)

One of my LifeCore, my core values, is Prodigious Learner. I use this term loosely. It reminds me of the poster which hung on the back of the entry door to my sixth-grade science class.

Mr. Crook (his real name) placed that poster there for us to see every single day so that its message was deeply drilled into our heads. It read, The more I learn, the more I learn how much I have to learn.

If there is anything prodigious about my learning practices, it is because I know how much I do not know.

Know How Much You Don’t Know

Rick Warren likes to say, We are all ignorant on different subjects.

How true. We see proof of this every day on Facebook and Twitter.

The problem arises when we get comfortable in our ignorance. I am comfortably ignorant about most everything having to do with advanced mathematics. However, I work hard to learn ever-better methods of mastering the art and science of expense reports. In fact, if I continue making significant steps forward, our CFO may not get all that worked up about my cool new iPhone.

If only.

Some learning happens accidentally. Like the day I was preparing to pour myself a nice chilled glass of V8 vegetable juice. I gave the container a good shake. It was then when I remembered I had already shaken the container and loosened the lid. Luckily, I had another clean, white shirt hanging in the closet.

Most, and the best, learning occurs by intentionally placing ourselves in position to receive knowledge and wisdom from others. I have a few personal rituals and routines which guide me.

Create Learning Rituals and Routines

My first hour of the day is spent enjoying two cups of coffee, our two dogs, and time alone with God. Each year I read through the Bible using one plan or another. This year it is The One-Year Bible on the YouVersion Bible app. I finish that time by writing a devotional for family and friends using the SOAP acrostic made popular by Wayne Cordeiro in The Divine Mentor: Growing Your Faith as You Sit at the Feet of the Savior.

The S in SOAP stands for Scripture. The idea is to pick out a verse or two which speaks to me. Then I write down my Observations. I follow this with  a personal Application which begins with the two words, I will. Then I turn the Bible verse, observation, and application into a Prayer.

I have a thirty-minute commute to work each day. That provides an hour of instruction from podcasts. I listen to Audible books on longer trips.

I had a five-hour road trip recently which allowed me to listen to The Power of Moments by Chip and Dan Heath. I highly recommend it. Up next is How Great Leaders Think: The Art of Reframing by Lee G. Bolman and Terrence E. Deal.

I journal in the morning and evening using the DayOne Journal app. I have separate sets of reflection questions for morning and evening. These help me focus on what matters most in my hours and days.

My morning questions include:

  • What am I thankful for right now?
  • How am I feeling right now?
  • What am I reading at this time?
  • What’s right? (Maximize)
  • What’s wrong? (Minimize)
  • What’s confused? (Clarify)
  • What’s missing? (Add)

My evening questions include:


  • What did I do today?
  • What lessons did I learn?


  • What am I thankful for right now?
  • How am I feeling right now?


  • What will I read tomorrow?
  • What are my plans for tomorrow?
  • What one thing must I accomplish tomorrow?

You may recognize some of these questions from Michael Hyatt’s writing and the toolkit from The Paterson Center.

Live A Life Worth Living

Socrates said, The unexamined life is not worth living. Daily times of thoughtful, mindful reading and reflection empower us for incremental growth.

This daily disciplined approach to learning and reflecting over weeks, months, years, and decades provides us with well-furnished minds. It makes it possible for us to speak intelligently on most subjects worth discussing. It makes us fruitful and effective at home, at work, and at leisure.

What is your personal growth plan?

What is included in your LifeCore?

Learn more about your LifeCall, LifeCore, LifeSteps, and LifeScore by participating in a Younique 48-Hour Life Plan or a four-day Accelerator. See for more details.


Submit a Comment


Interested in learning more about Church Unique or Life Younique? Send a note through the Get In Touch box or Message me through the Facebook link above.

          Church Unique Logo          Auxano Logo



Daily D – 2 Kings 23:25

2 Kings 23:25 Before him there was no king like him who turned to the Lord with all his heart and with all his soul and with all his strength according to all the law of Moses, and no one like him arose after him.

Daily D – 2 Kings 20:1-6

2 Kings 20:1-6 In those days Hezekiah became terminally ill. The prophet Isaiah son of Amoz came and said to him, “This is what the Lord says: ‘Set your house in order, for you are about to die; you will not recover.’”

Then Hezekiah turned his face to the wall and prayed to the Lord, “Please, Lord, remember how I have walked before you faithfully and wholeheartedly and have done what pleases you.” And Hezekiah wept bitterly.

Isaiah had not yet gone out of the inner courtyard when the word of the Lord came to him: “Go back and tell Hezekiah, the leader of my people, ‘This is what the Lord God of your ancestor David says: I have heard your prayer; I have seen your tears. Look, I will heal you. On the third day from now you will go up to the Lord’s temple. I will add fifteen years to your life. I will rescue you and this city from the grasp of the king of Assyria. I will defend this city for my sake and for the sake of my servant David.’”

Daily D – 2 Kings 18:5-7

2 Kings 18:5-7 Hezekiah relied on the Lord God of Israel; not one of the kings of Judah was like him, either before him or after him. He remained faithful to the Lord and did not turn from following him but kept the commands the Lord had commanded Moses. The Lord was with him, and wherever he went he prospered. He rebelled against the king of Assyria and did not serve him.

Daily D – 2 Kings 17:12-15

2 Kings 17:12-15 They served idols, although the Lord had told them, “You must not do this.” Still, the Lord warned Israel and Judah through every prophet and every seer, saying, “Turn from your evil ways and keep my commands and statutes according to the whole law I commanded your ancestors and sent to you through my servants the prophets.” But they would not listen. Instead they became obstinate like their ancestors who did not believe the Lord their God. They rejected his statutes and his covenant he had made with their ancestors and the warnings he had given them. They followed worthless idols and became worthless themselves, following the surrounding nations the Lord had commanded them not to imitate.

Daily D – 2 Kings 13:4-6

2 Kings 13:4-6 Then Jehoahaz sought the Lord’s favor, and the Lord heard him, for he saw the oppression the king of Aram inflicted on Israel. Therefore, the Lord gave Israel a deliverer, and they escaped from the power of the Arameans. Then the people of Israel returned to their former way of life, but they didn’t turn away from the sins that the house of Jeroboam had caused Israel to commit. Jehoahaz continued them, and the Asherah pole also remained standing in Samaria.