I Wish They Would Have Taught Me…

They say, “Don’t use the same title for your posts.”

So I left one word off of this weeks title.

Al Go-Rythm likes his online content to be original. Makes it hard to do a series of articles though, but Al also likes volume, and consistency… that’s why his favorite rock band is AC/DC.

My thoughts on “I Wish They Would Have Taught Me That” has brought me to a strange crossroads.

When we’re young boys, and men, we think we’re learning stuff.

As we get older and get some of our own experience under our belt we will run into a time when… “WE THINK WE KNOW… BUT OUR CURRENT KNOWLEDGE is not quite complete for the current experience we are currently experiencing.

Check yourself.

How do you handle the scenario at work when you are shown you are doing something incorrectly?

Are you the “young man” who gets embarrassed and angry?

Are you the “middle aged” know it all?

Or, regardless of your age, are you the Marcus Aureilus type? Who said, “If someone is able to show me that what I think or do is not right, I will happily change, for I seek the truth, by which no one was ever truly harmed. It is the person who continues in his self-deception and ignorance who is harmed.”

I wish they would have taught me that… sooner.

Because I’ve been both the young man who becomes angry and embarrassed, and the middle aged know it all… my early training consisted of this instruction, “Just shut up, and do what they tell ya!”

But what if I have a question? “Just figure it out, or ask somebody else, otherwise you’ll look stupid!”

Those are real words.

I hadn’t learned there was a different way until I read those different words written by Marcus Aurelius.

Here is the trick to implementing his approach.

  1. Understand you are confident in what you do, and more importantly, in who you are.
  2. Understand that things change, usually, while you are away on vacation.
  3. Understand other people have their responsibilities and you have yours.
  4. Understand when they bring a discrepancy to your attention it is their job to do so, it’s not a personal attack.
  5. Understand you can change the way you accept this type of information being presented to you.
  6. Understand this new phrase, “This is how I was trained, show me what I’m doing wrong, and show me what I need to be doing correctly.” Said confidently. Not arrogantly or snarky. And throw in a Thank You.
  7. Understand then and change your behavior. People won’t mind working with you.
  8. Understand that you can apply this approach to the rest of your life, work, and relationships. If you can become comfortable in NOT KNOWING, and ask to be shown your error… YOU might feel dumb… but YOU WON’T LOOK DUMB.

I wish they would have taught me that approach early on in life.

If you think that approach looks weak, or less manly, check your maturity level, regardless of your age.

To ENCOURAGE, EQUIP & ENGAGE requires a man to understand that he doesn’t know everything, and the things HE THINKS HE KNOWS, probably could use some deep diving to get to the next level of knowledge or technique.

That shouldn’t stop us from encouraging, equipping, and engaging with the world at large.

Take an inventory of “what you think you know” about a favorite topic… maybe deer hunting; car engines; or investing. Can you investigate a component of that topic that you know you don’t know about?

And instead of thinking, “What don’t I know?” Approach it with our new approach, “Can someone show me how to increase my take home pay; show me how to get closer to a 10 point buck; show me how to get a few more horse power out of this engine?”

Take this week to ENCOURAGE yourself. To EQUIP yourself. And ENGAGE yourself in learning something new about something you love to do!

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