I’ve been watching two of my teachers duke it out in public and it reminded me of something I want to teach my kids.
What do you want?
We are most easily deceived by our desires.
So start by asking, “what did I want?”
Then dig deeper.
My desires leave me open to deception.
Absent wanting, I can’t be fooled.
This knowledge is helpful to prevent the next person from using our desires against us AND so we can use self-awareness to guide effective action.
I was thinking back on races where I’d been impacted by cheating, and I remembered the fastest Half Marathon I ever ran was chasing down a guy who cut the bike course. I was so upset! That gave me a big smile, in a way, he did me a favor.
Other races, other outcomes.
When I looked deeper, I didn’t always like what I found.
An insatiable desire to “prove” myself better than others.
Not being able to feed that desire with external victories nudged me to look for other ways to prove merit. Again, my competition may have done me a favor.
Teachers & Mentors
I have learned from teachers with different goals, lifestyles and values from me. Sometimes, our teachers become a source of energy to do better within our own lives, and with our closest relationships.
Related, the first time you really get to know one of your heroes… it can be disappointing. We’re all flawed in some way. My kids are starting to learn my flaws, and they forgive me.
After the disappointment can come liberation. Take the best ideas and execute. There never was any magic.
Still, when you notice a difference in values, be wary. It’s not about right/wrong, more about compatibility. More in Drucker’s famous article about Managing Oneself.
When seeking a mentor, your wants might fool you into seeking to emulate a person who doesn’t fit your values.
Looking deeply, again.
My values & wants… from the inside, it feels like I’m in total control. I’m not.
By crafting my closest relationships, my mentors, my attention… I guide my life.
In some cases, I am better learning from a distance.
Which brings us to the final point.
Don’t torch the joint on the way out!
History tells me that I am going feel different about things later.
Life is about living, not building a habit of argument.