I recently sat near two business women who were exchanging insights about how to be successful in their work, which happened to be consulting. The woman appearing more experienced in this field was sharing an experience of how she once had an opportunity to speak to a group of surgeons.

While preparing her year-end presentation, she said she wanted to start by asking the intellectual, hard working group what they had learned that year. She paused for a second, and went on to say she decided to leave that question out.

“Mostly because I don’t even know how I would answer the question,” she told the younger professional. “We are always learning. Every day.”

How true.

What’s interesting about the concept of learning is that it never ends. We’re not always keen to accepting or admiting the fact we are learning, but try to be — for those teaching you. Think about it…. when you are given the opportunity to teach someone something new, it’s a nice feeling. Sometimes it becomes your turn to let someone else be the teacher while you sit back and enjoy the learning experience.

As the year 2011 is quickly coming to a close, this conversation caused me to reflect and think of the learnings I’ve had in one year. A few of those include: there are some things in life we cannot control; family is most important; never take sunshine for granted; and strangers are people, too.

What about you? If the woman asked what you have learned this year and you were in the audience, what would your answer be?

Stay curious with an open mind and you will learn even more.