I often have students — usually experienced ones — who take issue with a point I might make or a methodology I prescribe.  Since I’m in the business of changing behavior, by very definition I am trying to get folks to do things differently.  Some folks apparently don’t like different.

It’s at those moments where the status quo meets the “You want me to do WHAT?” that we find out a lot about ourselves.  Those who have tasted success and reached comfort often say, “That won’t work, and here’s why.”  Those who have not tasted success and/or are not comfortable with who they are often say, “Well, that’s different.  I’ll try it.”  Almost invariably, they’ll find that something clicks for them.  The neat thing for me, the instructor, is often what clicks has nothing to do with what I was trying to teach.  I can’t explain how that works, but it’s fun and I take little credit for it.  The student, by investigating their own limits, discovers something quite new.  That is simply what happens when we discover ourselves.

Those who fight back frustrate us both.  Instead of trying to find something to learn, they spend time defending what works for them.  But what “works” may be just good, when great or The Best may be waiting.  I walk away from those encounters challenged to never accept good for myself.  When I’m being pushed by a differing view, I do not have to change my view.  But I’m cheating myself by not considering what I can learn from the new idea.

When faced with something that is uncomfortable, new, or even downright odd,

ask yourself, “What can I learn?”

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