"In times of change, learners inherit the Earth, while the learned find themselves beautifully equipped to deal with a world that no longer exists." -Eric Hoffer
This reminds me of the distinction between a learner and a knower (Hoffer's 'learned'). A knower KNOWS. If he finds himself not knowing, it threatens his identity. To defend his identity he has several options: he can pretend that he knows; he can change the subject; he can avoid the situation altogether. If something is hard, he has to bail out because, after all, he's a KNOWER, and if it is hard, or if he doesn't know it already, then he must not be a knower.
On the other hand, a learner understands that learning is a process. He understands that there is a steep part of the learning curve. He understands that mistakes are a normal part of learning. He does not define himself as smart--as a finished product--, but as someone who is always learning, always curious, always in development.
Who would you rather spend time with?