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What I learned teaching yesterday.

post #1 of 24
Thread Starter 
Interesting exercise in use of the Will.

I was skiing with a woman and her husband, and she said, "You know I get all this stuff intellectually, but why can't I do it? Do I need to believe and trust?" (this is an example of what Squatty refers to, in my DVD, of "asking the right question!")

In a BFO (blinding flash of the obvious), I said, "No. Your belief and trust make no difference, here. It works whether you belive it or not. The earth is round whether you belive it or not. The only thing that matters is your decision to do it, and live with the results--whatever. This is how trial and error works. Failure and success are equally successful this way, because learning happens in both. All I can do is engineer the environment to minimize the risk. It is you who make the decisions."

In essence, she got that belief and trust follow decision and commitment--not the other way around. This is the center of the kind of risk taking that creates great learning.

She was both stunned and empowered. It was wonderful to watch.
post #2 of 24
Interesting story.
Reminds me of a friend who used to say "attitude follows behavior."
It's a paradox because we usually think of attidude as causing behavior.
post #3 of 24
Quote:
What I learned teaching yesterday.
If we are still learning as we teach, we should keep on teaching (and learning).

RW
post #4 of 24
If I didn't learn something new almost every time I teach, I'd quit. I've been at it since 1970 and I still don't know as much as Weems has forgotten
post #5 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by weems View Post
Interesting exercise in use of the Will.

I was skiing with a woman and her husband, and she said, "You know I get all this stuff intellectually, but why can't I do it? Do I need to believe and trust?" (this is an example of what Squatty refers to, in my DVD, of "asking the right question!")

In a BFO (blinding flash of the obvious), I said, "No. Your belief and trust make no difference, here. It works whether you belive it or not. The earth is round whether you belive it or not. The only thing that matters is your decision to do it, and live with the results--whatever. This is how trial and error works. Failure and success are equally successful this way, because learning happens in both. All I can do is engineer the environment to minimize the risk. It is you who make the decisions."

In essence, she got that belief and trust follow decision and commitment--not the other way around. This is the center of the kind of risk taking that creates great learning.

She was both stunned and empowered. It was wonderful to watch.
This is why cool! It's like motivation following action, isn't it? Do and the emotions follow. Niiice...
post #6 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by weems View Post
Interesting exercise in use of the Will.

I was skiing with a woman and her husband, and she said, "You know I get all this stuff intellectually, but why can't I do it? Do I need to believe and trust?" (this is an example of what Squatty refers to, in my DVD, of "asking the right question!")

In a BFO (blinding flash of the obvious), I said, "No. Your belief and trust make no difference, here. It works whether you belive it or not. The earth is round whether you belive it or not. The only thing that matters is your decision to do it, and live with the results--whatever. This is how trial and error works. Failure and success are equally successful this way, because learning happens in both. All I can do is engineer the environment to minimize the risk. It is you who make the decisions."

In essence, she got that belief and trust follow decision and commitment--not the other way around. This is the center of the kind of risk taking that creates great learning.

She was both stunned and empowered. It was wonderful to watch.
That is cool.

There are no failures, just more data!


Sometimes a whole LOT of data...
post #7 of 24
A mantra I like for such situations is: "Feel the fear and do it anyway." In other words, give yourself permission to be less than perfect, and extend that permission all the way to outright failure, when you're just starting to make a change. Through a process of successive approximations we can achieve the goal behavior, said the behavioral engineer.
post #8 of 24
It reminds me of a quote from a great little ski book: "There is a point of diminishing returns where you will lose contact with the skis and fall downhill—go just less than that." ("Brilliant Skiing, Every Day" by Weems Westfeldt, page 123.) Finding that point of losing contact takes going that far... perhaps a few times. "Do it anyway." Thanks, nolo, I will...!
post #9 of 24
That mantra has done me good stead throughout my entire life too!

Like the wit says, If you want to find out what's wrong in your life, do three things: get married, have children, and start a business.
post #10 of 24

Was it an example of asking the right question???

Are you sure she was asking the right question??? I wonder, because, what might have been happening is that she didn't believe in herself and her ability to do it. In this case, I do believe that belief and trust are important ingredients. Maybe it was a commitment question.

I'm in sales and we all know that your belief in your products are essential to your ability to sell them. Faking it doesn't work.

I maybe wrong, but those are my two cents.

On another matter...

After taking a year off from teaching due to medical issues, I am back at it. I found Weems's story illuminating because I had a similar, if not as profound, experience too this week.

What I learned, and that I thought I knew intellectually, but not in this specific sense, is how individual people are. I've had a series of 7-10 yr olds this week. You'd think a pretty homogeneous lot, but no way. I was dumbfounded at the range of tools I had to pull out to get these guys to progress. Even the athletic ones who you'd think would respond to different games and drills similarly, didn't. These kids stretched me to the limit and I had a great time.

Bob
post #11 of 24
Weems thanks for that, and Nolo great mantra.
post #12 of 24
Thanks Weems great food for thought!

Nolo, I LOVE your mantra. Tomorrow when I'm skiing I'll have something better to chant rather than "Virgin Clutch". I'm not sure my skiing partner appreciated that one today...I didn't bother to fill him in on the technical meaning. :-)
post #13 of 24
Thanks for the great story Weems and the mantra, Nolo. This post clicked with me because I've had the same kind of feelings as the woman you described. I have a tendency to get caught up in the stuff going on in my head.

But the other day, I had an experience where I had stopped at a point that intimidated me and I said to myself, "Just do it; you know what to do and you're running out of time, so just go for it (I had to meet my husband)"...and those turns were probably the best of the day; it felt great and reinforced that I did know what to do; I just had to commit to do it!
post #14 of 24
Nice..good stuff.
post #15 of 24
Hello. I found this thread searching for "There are no failures, just more data!", one of my all-time favorite quotes (from the smoke-besmirched lab geek in Max Headroom)

Not so sure I agree with the 'belief and trust follow decision and commitment' thing.

In order to accept your instruction, don't I first have to believe that it works? Then, after trying it your way, and I find that it works, then I will know for myself that it does work for me?

When I first started skiing, I remember standing at the top of of a difficult (for me at the time) section and thinking:

"I have seen others easily navigate this section so I *know* that it can be done. I *know* the basics of control, so the only thing holding me back is my fear/lack of belief in my ability, so if I believe in myself and trust in my abilities and just go for it, it will happen."

And it did. So what that accomplished was an increasing in my confidence and decreasing my fear. I trusted what my abilities were and I believed that I would be able to use them well and that is what prompted my decision to do it, not the other way around.

If I did not have the abilities and just decided to do it, my ability to do it would not be there and I would have just crashed and burned.

Belief and knowing are two different things.
post #16 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by weems View Post

Failure and success are equally successful...
We welcome either because we learn from each. We move out of self-judgment and into the joy of doing because Failure and success are equally successful.

Applying it to teaching allows me to try new things. Some things work, some don't. Some of my sessions stink. Some are very good. Awareness of both helps me become a better coach.

Nice Weems. It's a gem.
post #17 of 24
just do it
post #18 of 24
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Red Devil View Post

In order to accept your instruction, don't I first have to believe that it works? Then, after trying it your way, and I find that it works, then I will know for myself that it does work for me?
Belief and knowing are two different things.
You're correct that belief and knowing are two different things. What I pointed out to her was that she had to CHOOSE her belief to achieve the knowing. The believing didn't matter that much at that point. She already believed in her intellectual self but she wasn't doing it. And that's why I loved the question. She really saw the difference.

So ultimately you're correct. I just played with her question a bit. She expected that her belief should produce the knowing, but it was not enough. She needed something else. All I did was to nudge her to choose her own belief.

Yes, Joan...nice mantra.
post #19 of 24
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Maybon View Post
just do it
Exactly.
post #20 of 24
I have a friend who is like her, she has the know-how and the ability, she is just too afraid of what might happen to allow herself to progress to the level she should be at. Maybe if I tell her something similar to what you said, Weems, it might drive something home for her. The "Just Do It" approach didn't really work for her, alas. Thanks for the great story/mantra.
post #21 of 24
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by dwanjr View Post
I have a friend who is like her, she has the know-how and the ability, she is just too afraid of what might happen to allow herself to progress to the level she should be at. Maybe if I tell her something similar to what you said, Weems, it might drive something home for her. The "Just Do It" approach didn't really work for her, alas. Thanks for the great story/mantra.
Year's ago in Taos, I used to ask students, "If you try this do you think it will make you ski any worse than you already are?" Or, "Do you think it will make you fall down more than you're already doing?"

We were tough in those days.
post #22 of 24
We have actually used that approach too and I think that is helping actually. We have no problems with being tough on her.

I think what is driving her more now is the competition with me as I started skiing after she did and she doesn't want to be shown up. : So maybe when all else fails appeal to their competitive nature.
post #23 of 24
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by dwanjr View Post
We have actually used that approach too and I think that is helping actually. We have no problems with being tough on her.

I think what is driving her more now is the competition with me as I started skiing after she did and she doesn't want to be shown up. : So maybe when all else fails appeal to their competitive nature.
That may be a time bomb. I think motivation works the best when it is about things that you can control. She can't control how fast you progress. She would be better off, methinks, trusting her own pace in her own way without you in the mix. Otherwise, there is clutter.
post #24 of 24
Well said. I hadn't thought of it that way but it is not me that is putting me in the mix; she's doing that on her own. Is there any way for us to try to eliminate that? Or is that something she'd have to do on her own? What sort of things should we get her to focus on? Or should we just maintain the "tough" method?
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