“The things we know best are things we haven’t been taught.”
—Luc de Clapiers, 18th Century Marquis de Vauvenargues
My first career, fresh out of college, was as a teacher. It was my belief at the time that it was my job to literally pour my knowledge of life science into the minds of 25 sixth grade students. What I discovered was that very little got in, and even less of my brilliant lessons stuck for more than a week or two.
One of my fascinations over the years, and particularly since I began my career in coaching, is what some call the “stickiness” factor. It turns out that most of life’s greatest and enduring lessons occur through experiential learning, in which the student is fully engaged, even lost, in their own inquiry.
What areas of personal or professional development are you and others in your world most open, interested, and excited about? How can you structure a deep and meaningful learning experience in these areas?
“Optimism is essential to achievement, and it is also the foundation of courage and true progress.”
-Nicholas Murray Butler, 20th Century president of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
Image from questionpro.com
Would you like to live a longer, happier, more fulfilling and successful life?
Over the past two decades, I’ve conducted an unscientific, subjective assessment which indicates that my more optimistic clients are more successful and fulfilled during and beyond their coaching engagements.
Other scientifically verified sources attribute a number of benefits to optimism, including:
“When you read a book, you hold another’s mind in your hands.”
-James Burke, British broadcaster and author
image from cntraveler.com
Throughout my childhood and into my early adult years it was rare for me to read anything but an occasional comic book. My mother, Rose, meanwhile, was a voracious reader, often consuming 10-12 books every three weeks—the maximum allowed by our local library.
Although her formal education ended when she graduated from high school, she was more highly intelligent, articulate, and “in the know” than most college graduates. I greatly admired this quality in her and adopted her practices to a good degree throughout my various careers. This is especially true in my work as a Coach, in which I often get to share the minds of others through their wonderful, world-expanding books.
How would a good book related to your existing interests, challenges, or priorities provide a mind-expanding contribution to your world?
Consider the practice of always having a good book handy, so your mind is always expanding.
Click THIS LINK to see some of the world’s most amazing and beautiful libraries. They clearly demonstrate the honor given to books and learning.
-Gautama Buddha, on whose teaching Buddhism was founded
image from kevingcook.com
When people say, “perception is reality,” they often mean that the way we perceive something makes it real. What if we don’t perceive an issue, challenge, or lesson to be learned, simply because it is invisible to us?
As a student, we must first see a situation and determine that there is value, opportunity, or benefit in it. Only then is there the potential to hear the teacher and see how they might assist us in understanding the lesson.
Where are you stopped or stuck in your life? Where are your efforts to move forward being thwarted? To whom could you go with the challenge you face, to determine your readiness and receptivity to the lesson?
“Who looks outside dreams; who looks inside awakes.”
—Carl Gustav Jung, founder of analytic psychology
Image from zdnet.com
I’ve always been fascinated with the idea of exploring new worlds. I was a fan of Mr. Wizard as a child, and dreamed of being an astronaut. The Discovery Channel is one of my favorites, and my first career was as a science teacher.
As I aged and pursued adventure, personal growth, and my current career in coaching, I found new excitement in taking frequent journeys into the land inside of my mind and heart – without the assistance of a rocket or a space suit.
Chose a practice such as meditation, prayer, journaling, or reading insightful, thought-provoking books and blogs to explore the worlds inside of you, and engage in new journeys of self-discovery.
“The best teachers are those who show you where to look, but don’t tell you what to see.”
—Alexandra K. Trenfor
Photo from bats.blogs.nytimes.com
I have been an active and engaged member of the ICF (International Coach Federation) for almost 20 years. Today, this organization has well over 20,000 members in more than 100 countries. The IFC has been one of the most active in establishing the ethics, standards, competencies, and credentialing criteria for the industry.
Fundamental to the value and impact of the coaching process is how it engages the individual in a variety of learning experiences requiring personal inquiry and self-discovery.
A phrase I like very much that describes this client-centered educational effort is “Coaches let their questions do the heavy lifting.” Although teaching experiences that “show and tell” can be a part of the learning process, it is perhaps when we help others to see, discover, and learn from within that even greater benefits are realized.
Think back to the teachers, mentors, and coaches in your life who have made the most significant impact in your life. Examine how many of them helped you discover and believe in your own potential and greatness.
How can you be this teacher or coach for those you care about in your professional or personal life?
Rarely do I hear people complain that the way they spend their time is wasteful. Rather, when these individuals have little or no say or influence on their time, their complaint level rises dramatically.
What we perceive as “time well spent” is often viewed by those around us—particularly in our professional worlds—as wasteful. The same thing occurs with most of us when others are orchestrating and influencing our days.
As you begin your day, please consider putting on a pair of “Learning Lenses.” As you discover and appreciate the wide variety of teachable moments and lessons learned, examine the fulfillment and satisfaction available because of this more productive and empowering perspective.
When you completed your formal education – whether it was grade school, high school, college or an advanced degree – how prepared were you for the professional and personal roles you have today?
Henry Ford knew as well as anyone that our education depends significantly on the continuous, iterative lessons we learn through life experiences. This form of education puts us to the test before we capture the lessons we need to live successful lives.
When and in what ways can you embrace the idea that lifelong learning, and being a continuous work in progress, is the best form of education to prepare you for your future?