Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Smart or stupid depends on resistance?

Yesterday's conversation:

Iris: I've noticed a pattern in my study habits. I learn new things in intervals. Take my singing. Over the the past days, I seem to have reached a new level and I'm finally able to apply the teachings of the last few weeks. It's almost as though, until two days ago, I couldn't connect the usefulness of the teachings to my singing.

Mark: That's because you are so resistant to feedback and learning!

Iris: Hmm, maybe... I'm not sure... I do think that I have a...

Mark: See, there you go again!

In the beginning of our relationship (Mark and I), I thought he was handsome, smart, incredibly sweet, very loving and authentic. Over the years this has so totally proven right! But I also see new qualities in him today that I didn't see before.

On of them is that his approach to learning new things is amazing. People always think he is talking big when he says, "I believe I can learn that in two days." But by now I know better! He does learn new things with a speed greater then anyone I know. So how does he do that?

When Mark learns something totally new, (which he does regularly), he jumps into the subject with 100% energy, enthusiasm and excitement. He holds off any "but's", "maybe's", and other resistant thoughts until he feels he truly understands the material. Only at that point, will he look at how useful the taught material is. He also embraces the attitude that students will pass their teachers, after they learned what the teacher knows!

What if it all starts with embracing new teachings instead of resisting? It sounds so simple! Would my singing improve faster if I could embrace the feedback and the teacher? Ohh, yes! In this moment, would I have been a better musician if I would not have resisted Mark's feedback in the past? Ohhh, yes!

It's funny, while writing this article, I see the parallel with playing in the playroom with my autistic friends. The moments that they are ism-ing, they are resisting any input from the outside. The moments they stop resisting and embrace me and what we are doing, they seem to learn at light speed.

So, what if smart and stupid do not exist? What if there is only the choice of how we embrace new learning opportunities? Do you fully embrace new learning opportunities and learn at light speed? Or do you hold on to something and resist the teachings?

Have a smart Wednesday!

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