Sometimes the problem is not that the teacher isn’t good enough, or the student is too lazy. Sometimes the knowledge and awareness gap can be so wide that the student becomes discouraged.
Does sparring with a Blackbelt motivate or intimidate an absolute beginner?
Does being trained by Tiger Woods help someone holding the club for the first time more? Or would it help an already professional golf player more?
There is a reason why we don’t have college professors teaching kindergartens. If you are an absolute beginner, go learn from someone a few levels higher than you in the subject, not necessarily the best of the best in the field. If the mountain seems so unreachable, and the dream seems like a crazy fantasy, you are more likely to give up on the idea.
We don’t see the world as it is. We see the world as we are.
I remember when I first started studying Personal Development, I had the best intentions, and a lot of passion, but very little awareness, and very strong limiting beliefs. I used to look at some top of the field “enlightened” material as “woo woo” and “total bull***t”. I wasn’t at a high enough level of awareness to even understand the material, let alone practise it.
Once I’d been studying obsessively for several months, however, I went back to the same materials which I’d deemed too far-fetched before, and they made perfect sense to me, and I was able to have my ‘aha’ moment.
See it’s like grieving for a loss or getting over a breakup. You cannot jump from despair to happiness. You gotta get through the stages. You gotta read every page of the book of life.
You can go from ignorance to curiosity, to desire, to passion, to obsession, then to mastery.
You can go from despair to anger, to sadness, to acceptance, to neutrality, to understanding, then eventually to happiness.
Set yourself up for success by finding the right teacher for you. Most importantly, keep an open mind. I’m not saying lower the bar and find someone barely on the same level as you to learn from. Those people may make a good accountability partner, to learn and grow with, but they don’t make excellent teachers.
I’m saying get a teacher who has been where you are and is now a few steps ahead of you on a similar journey. They will be able to relate to your current challenges and might have even made the same mistakes you are making.
In a team situation, you want to be especially vigilant about setting a role model that’s too intimidating to replicate. (Read this Forbes Magazine article)