Have you ever wondered why some people succeed and others don’t?  

Pastor and life coach Matt Keller says the answer is found in one word: Teachability. While some are born with it, all of us can grow this characteristic in our lives and see success. Matt reviews valuable advice from his book The Key to Everything.

“Teachability, that desire to learn so to speak, has kind of been a lifetime trait for me. That is something that defines our organization as the pastor of Next Level Church in Southwest Florida. Everything we do in terms of leadership development, everything we do with coaching other pastors and churches, working in businesses and coaching and consulting them is, it really comes down to: Are you teachable?

The characteristic of teachability could unlock doors in our lives that we could have never imagined.

 “That’s kind of been a life theme for me, it’s only been though in the last 5, 6, 7 years that I’ve been able to really isolated it to say, that’s the key.”

What does it mean to be teachable?

“The way we define teachability is with two words: A desire to learn multiplied by our willingness to change.”

Matt elaborates on this definition with an equation that will determine how teachable we actually are in any area of our lives:

Our desire to learn × Our willingness to change = Our index of teachability. 

A helpful illustration can be seen in Matt’s personal life as a public speaker.

“As a public speaker, if I have a desire to learn and to get better as a communicator, but my willingness to change is not very good.

For example, let’s say my desire is a 6 out of 10, but my willingness to change is a 2 out of 10, then my teachability is only going to be a 12 on a scale of 100. I’m not going to be very successful then in getting better as a public speaker. But if my desire goes up to an 8, and my willingness to change goes up to an 8, now all of a sudden my 12 becomes a 64.

That person is going to be way more successful at being a public speaker and getting better over the long term, than some of these teachability is only a 12.”

How do we maintain our teachablility?

“One of the things I talk about in there is moving from me to we. The idea of a lot of times when we see or experience success in our life, our human nature is to take all the credit. The more we can kind of give that credit away and recognize that there are no there’s no such thing as self-made man or woman. We owe our success to others, and it’s always and we gain – it’s never a ‘me game.’”

By being generous in our accomplishments by recognizing other people will help us remain teachable and maintain success in our lives.

“One of the other temptations when success hits our life is that we start to get inward-focused and selfish, and all we can see is, ‘My next thing’ or ‘My next want,’ so be generous.”

We need to remember that our success is extremely temporary and it’s important to keep that in perspective.

“…Success is fragile and temporary, so keeping our success in terms of a proper perspective is so important in handling our success well.”

Highlight: Are you teachable?

The key to success

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