The Learning Game - 2015

Do we all not go through a tough period while we are enrolled in school?  School is designed to challenge us, so in most cases we will go through rest periods when things are more simple, as well as challenging periods when we feel as if we will never receive a break.  Deciding you will not pursue school beyond your previous high point of intermediate, high school, college bachelors, college masters, or beyond is a halt on your educational process.  We will forever be located inside the learning game...

Are you brave enough to allow your child to approach that stove and stick out their hand?  Stove off or hot stove, would you do it?  Some say no, "I want to protect my child from harm."  Some say yes, "That is how life's lessons are learned."  There is a strong likelihood that if you put your hand on a stove enough times, eventually you will get burned.  If we've never ignorantly extended our hand to the stove then how will we be afforded the chance to learn.  My hypothesis is that once we are burned from the stove, once we fall off of the bed that we were jumping on, or once we stick our hands in the rose bush and feel the prick, we will learn what consequence we will except and what we won't.

Are we afraid to allow others, especially the one's we decide are close to us, to make a decision based off of their own experience?  Are we truly of the belief that others will avoid what often has an even 50/50 chance of being dangerous, based solely off of the advice or experience of our own?  If we are willing to dive into the advice of another with no research and no homework done, then we may just miss out on some real, valuable experiences.  Some are wired to want to fall into a line and blend among a group.  That attitude, that choice changes nothing I touched on.  We can be a piece of a puzzle, a team player, someone on the line and be influential.  It is illustrated everyday.  On another third of that attitude spectrum; to ask a question about three of the most influential women in their craft, followed by three influential men:  Anne Frank, Mia Hamm, Rosa Parks, Christopher Columbus, Michael Jordan, Martin Luther King.  Before these people could achieve the great things they did inside of their craft, do you or do you not believe that there was a time (or 64) that someone tried to steer them into doing what was safe, or what was socially acceptable?  Perhaps even worse, someone trying to steer them into what was right or wrong based on that someone's own individual personal experience?  

Some people get where they want to get with a simpler road.  Some have to scratch and claw and rip through the mud.  Both ways, and the multitude of others are respectable.  I won't tell you to search for a difficult road.  However, the lesson learned the most undesired way is generally the one that sticks the hardest.  So when they approach that stove, send your message carefully.  When you approach that stove, demand your own experience.

The growth process is about so many different things, it could have an everyday blog of its own.  Actually, I am sure it does.  Learning is life long though.  Someone said to me a few days ago that the primary trait of leadership is for one to always listen more than he or she speaks.  I disagree.  I believe great leadership is composed of a boat load of traits, and being a terrific listener is among them.  In reference to the primary trait though, great leadership to me starts with your example.  Leading by example.  If a great leader said no words at all while performing their action or craft, he or she would be excelling at the primary trait of leadership.  It is not irresponsible of us to allow our parents, children, athletes, siblings, and friends to make the same mistakes as us.  That is when our best learning was done, while making mistakes.  Haven't you ever heard of the way the potato chip was created?  What would be irresponsible of us would be to not carry ourselves in everyday life with the example of the lessons that we learned from our mistakes.  If I lost you, here is an example.  Say you don't think its a good idea to kick and scream in public places, you desire emotional control.  In that case, avoid raising your voice and losing your emotional control at home and everywhere else.  Set the example.  If you'd like the athletes around you to stop pouting and complaining then telling them to stop has limited affect if you aren't constantly mindful of your own pouting and complaining.  To tell someone that it is unhealthy to drink and smoke, yet you drink an smoke in front of them, or at all... is not going to push them to think it can really be that bad.

At a glance, we can enter a society where we must feel in control.  We are willing to tell our children and our athletes precisely the way we want something done and the way we want them to understand it.  Unfortunately, we will also stiff arm feedback and ideas from them.  The greatest teacher in the world will always be the best learner.  If we cannot learn from our grasshoppers then we have nothing to teach them.  While they may hang on now, eventually we will lose their attention.  We must be grasshoppers to our students and gain knowledge from them.  Free of insecurity, free of age quantity recognition, free of exterior perception.  Take in information from all sources, listen intensely, evaluate, decide how you feel about it, and make the decision based on your intuition.  To live someone else's life is a crime,  to sacrifice your dream for another's is a crutch.  Feel free to be an individual while you're inside of a team and inside of a society.  Allow others to be themselves and rather than stealing the wheel, you guide their path with support.  The learning game addressed with your own finger print will take longer than Monopoly, but relax for a play, it may be the greatest decision you ever make.

That's all for this week.  Questions, comments, concerns welcome below.

- Lion

Chris P Austin