One looks back with appreciation

“One looks back with appreciation to the brilliant teachers, but with gratitude to those who touched our human feelings.”

—Carl Gustav Jung, 20th Century Swiss founder of analytical psychology

I recently watched the Netflix documentary, Genius of the Ancient World. The three-part series focused on The Buddha, Socrates, and Confucius.

Surprisingly, they all lived about 2,500 years ago, but worlds apart geographically. Many of their teachings and influences are still very apparent in our world today.

Who are the brilliant and soul-touching teachers from your past? Who are the current teachers and mentors that continue to make a meaningful difference in your life?

Where have you, and are you, that brilliant and perhaps more importantly, soul-touching teacher for others, personally or professionally?

EXERCISE:

Reflect on the questions above, and determine some meaningful way to show your gratitude for the teachers who influenced your world.

My Joy in Learning

“My joy in learning is partly that it enables me to teach.”

—Seneca, first century Roman philosopher

Image from Unsplash by jeshoots.com

My coaching relationships begins with several “discovery” sessions in which my clients crystallize and clarify what they wish to learn and how they intend to grow.

I often joke with them that they are pursuing “A PhD in Me” through this unique and customized relationship.

In the early stages, they may look to me or others they respect and watch how we lead, manage, coach, or communicate. Very quickly they begin practicing and engaging in similar efforts to further their mastery journey. Soon after, or even at the same time, I encourage them to play the role of coach, mentor, or teacher to share what they are learning with others.

EXERCISE:

Where and with whom can you be a teacher to more joyfully experience the pleasure of learning and contribute more of yourself to others?

Life is Amazing

“Life is amazing, and the teacher had best prepare himself to be a medium for that amazement.”

—Edward Blishen, 20th Century British author

Image of an eye and eyebrow

Image from Unsplash by Amanda Dalbjorn

Have you heard of Sam Horn? If not, look her up, and strongly consider reading her newsletter and books.

She often shares a concept she calls The Eyebrow Test, which refers to the ideas, concepts, and life events that literally make your eyebrows move upward, demonstrating great interest, or in the case of today’s quote, amazement.

EXERCISE:

How and in what ways can you more fully engage in your own life to experience far more raised eyebrows of amazement?

How can you share such moments or help others in your world experience greater amazement through your potential roles as teacher, mentor, parent, or coach?

The Art of Teaching

“The art of teaching is the art of assisting discovery.”

—Mark van Doren, Poet and Educator

Where in your personal or professional worlds do you play the role of teacher, mentor, or trusted advisor?

How often do you find yourself sharing your experiences, providing your advice, or simply stating solutions?

In such cases, we remove much, if not all, of the work our students could do to inquire and discover their own answers, which tend to be far more valuable and sustainable in the long run.

EXERCISE:

How would adding more of a “Coach Approach” to your teaching efforts help more of the people you support discover their own answers and realize the progress they desire?

We are all Teachers

FRIDAY REVIEW: TEACHING

We are all teachers at some level. Here are a few teaching-related posts you may have missed. Click the links to read the full message.

 

“Teaching is an instinctual art, mindful of potential, craving of realization, a pausing, seamless process.”

 

 

 

 

“It is not what you do for your children but what you have taught them to do for themselves that will make them successful human beings.”

 

 

 

“To teach is to learn twice.”

One Can Change the World

“Let us remember: One book, one pen, one child, and one teacher can change the world.”

—Malala Yousafzai, Pakistani Activist/youngest ever Nobel Peace Prize Laureate

Image of Malala Yousafzai

Image from mirror.com.uk

At some point in life, we all ask ourselves: What is the meaning of life? Why are we here?

Many of us find great satisfaction and meaning realizing that our lives have purpose, that it is to make a difference, and in some way—big or small—to change the world.

What books have you read recently? What letters, emails, or blog posts have you written?
What child’s life have you impacted or touched in some meaningful way?  How have you taught, mentored, or coached others in your life? How have you benefited from those around you sharing their life lessons?

EXERCISE:

How and in what ways do you intend to change your world or the world in 2017?

The Things We Know Best

“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.

EXERCISE:

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?

“A Teacher Affects…”

“A teacher affects eternity; he can never tell where his influence stops.”

—Henry Brooks Adams, American historian and member of the Adams political family

Photo from Flickr by Anne Adrian

Photo from Flickr by Anne Adrian

Among the core values explored and discussed with my clients is their fundamental desire and passion to contribute to the lives of others.

When we examine the wide variety of roles each of them play in their professional and personal worlds, the opportunities seem limitless.

Who are the teachers, mentors, coaches, and other life supporters who have made the biggest difference in your life? Where have you noticed yourself “paying forward” valuable lessons to those whom you care about?

EXERCISE:

Where and with whom can you share your knowledge, wisdom, and life lessons to influence the lives of others, and more fully realize your unique contribution to eternity?

“Teaching others scales right back to us.”

“Teaching others scales right back to us.”

—Seth Godin, Author

Photo from Flickr by winnifredxoxo

Photo from Flickr by winnifredxoxo

I have always had a passion for learning. As a child, I remember vividly my mother coming upstairs to read after our evening meal and some family time. Although she had only a high school education, she had the most expansive vocabulary of anyone I knew.

My own family, and my wife’s, were educators, so it was not surprising that my first career was as a teacher. After a few years, I shifted to business and found myself in teaching roles within the company. For the past 22 years, I have continued to be both student and teacher as I pursue my professional efforts as a coach.

Over the years, I’ve learned by watching others, applying what I’ve learned, and learned the most by sharing what I learned with others. The lessons always scaled back to me with even deeper meaning and impact.

EXERCISE:

How can you learn what you most desire by watching people you admire, practice what you learn, and scale these lessons back to you even more by teaching others in your professional and personal life?

As Seth Godin said in his latest book, What to Do When It’s Your Turn, “Teaching rewards us all.”

“To teach is to learn twice.”

“To teach is to learn twice.”

—Joseph Joubert, French Esssayist

Photo from Flickr by Duane Schoon

Photo from Flickr by Duane Schoon

Have you ever considered that learning is a multi-step process? Do you recall times in your education when you would read, re-read, and literally memorize information to prepare for a quiz or test?

What happened to this information when you tried to recall it even a few weeks later? If you are like most people, non-essential information is wiped clean from your “cerebral hard drive,” to make room for information that is essential, or critical, to your existence.

EXERCISE:

A simple yet powerful technique to deepen and sustain things you wish to learn and master is contained in these three steps:

  1. Watch others who are very skilled at some behavior.
  2. Try to practice those skills for yourself.
  3. Teaching this skill to others will cement and sustain the lesson.

Remember it this way: Watch One, Do One, Teach One.