See One, Do One, Teach One

This is the refrain you would often hear in medical school and medical residency training. Once you learn a new procedure, you are obligated to teach someone who doesn’t know how to do it. I think this is also good advice for living a fulfilled life if we expand its meaning to insights handed over to us from people with greater wisdom than we have.

Unfortunately, we find so often that our negative internal voice, that little devil on your shoulder, the “evil inclination” spoken about at length in ancient Hebraic writings, comes and says that we aren’t qualified or are not knowledgeable enough to hand over and teach others. I can almost hear the thousands of sighs that take place when people who wish to make a difference to others, stop, listen to that negative inner voice, and become despondent over not feeling ready, qualified, whatever, fill in the blank with the adjective or rationalization. Recognize that this inner negative voice, isn’t even you. Yeah, you heard me right! This is just a function of this brain we have, probably some kind of evolutionary protective mechanism that in our day and age, hinders us. Regardless, hear but recognize it doesn’t represent you and rarely gives you good advice. It’s like the random thoughts that pop into our minds, we are not those thoughts. Who we are is much deeper.

The Chassidic mystics have said “One good deed is better than a thousand sighs” and in commenting on this, the Lubavitcher Rebbe, a great mystic and spiritual leader of the second half of the 20th century, said that in this case “sadness is always unacceptable and harmful . . . Especially since naturally when a person sighs, he feels a bit of satisfaction that he is upset about something, and it does not add to his motivation to work to fill what was lacking.”

The life affirming alternative is to work on keeping your mood up and recognizing your obligation to share both your elevated mood and the new insights, techniques, skills, you have gained. And when that little devil on your shoulder made famous in cartoons starts speaking and telling you that you are not an expert enough, good enough, etc to share and teach what you have learned, grab a big cartoon hammer in your imagination and smack him in the nose 🙂 then “teach one.”

Message on a billboard?

I was listening to an interview with Seth Godin on the Tim Ferriss podcast. One of the reasons I am doing this daily blog (well not so daily, there is never a post on Saturday for religious reasons) is based on Seth Godin’s daily blog.

One of the questions he asked him was what message he would put on a billboard. He said the best message on a billboard was by marketing legend name Jay Levinson that said “free coffee next exit.” 🙂

On a more serious note, I was thinking about this and though no one is asking me, on mine it would be a quote from Zig Ziglar that I say is a master quote, which I define as a quote that encapsulates a universal truth. On this blog, I also mention another master quote in my post The Enemy of Art. Zig Ziglar’s quote is “You can have everything in life you want, if you will just help other people get what they want.”

Then today, I came across this quote by the Lubavitcher Rebbe which expresses a similar sentiment. Here it is “Teach and you will learn, give and you will receive, love and you will be loved. In this world, there must not be any person, place, or thing, that only gives or only gets, and if there is, it is for us to heal.”

I really love both of those quotes. Hope you do as well.

Your comments requested, below 🙂