Listen To The Masters & Do Not Take Generic Courses

Listen To The Masters & Do Not Take Generic Courses

Listen To The Masters & Do Not Take Generic Courses

Listen To The Masters & Do Not Take Generic Courses

Listen To The Masters & Do Not Take Generic Courses

Written by Gary Gunn - Founder of Social Attraction

It frustrates me that when I was first taught public speaking that my mentor said everything that sounded “right”; I mean it almost sounded like common sense, yet here I am over ten years later recognising that what I was taught, like so many things in our modern world, have been capitalised.

The essence of what was taught has been changed into a format that fits a simple and easy to digest methodology that we can all purchase for a set amount of money, where we all learn the same stuff, that to be frank does not work, so let’s look at a few examples.

One of the main itineraries we are taught when we learn to write for example is to focus on the person who will be reading the article. Then, you read Chekhov, one of the greatest writers in history who says that if you write for the critics then it taints and influences your work in a negative way, and similarly how you can possibly write for the reader when you have no idea who the reader is going to be? Chekhov explains in a letter to his brother that we should write for self-expression only. Hmmm this wasn’t in the itinerary!

Then when learning public speaking we are taught that we need to plan the ending and then work our way back – sounds like a good plan. Then we read Charles Chaplin’s autobiography and learn the charm of improvisation and realise that if we are skilled in our work then over planning takes away our soul and our enjoyment from our craft. Hmmm this wasn’t in the itinerary!

Then we read Murakami, a great Japanese writer who explains that when he writes he has no idea of the ending and if he did then it would create no mystery and no drama. He lets the story unfold as he is writing and also enjoys the process. Hmmm this wasn’t in the itinerary!

So what is going on here?

Most advice that sounds right we tend to believe (and also to value), as it allows us to maintain our current view of the world. Personally I want someone to teach me something that goes against my grain, someone who challenges my thinking, rather than staying in my safe and comfortable box.

Here are some questions to ask someone before you hire them:

1. What is the last book that you read?
2. When was the last time you hosted a new course?
3. What are you working on at the moment which is new?

You see the true masters of any given arena recognise that it is years of consistent growth, learning, testing, mistake making and let’s be honest – pain – to establish the truths of their profession. I’ll end with a story – because stories educate and information does not:

At dawn, there was an old man at haste throwing crabs back into the sea that had been washed ashore. When a young man walked past he saw what the old man was doing and shouted: “What are you doing old man, you are wasting your time, there are 20 miles of beach and hundreds and thousands of crabs.”

And the old man replied, “When the sun comes up they will all burn and die, so I am trying to save them.”

And the younger man said, “But there are too many crabs you can’t possibly make a difference.”

To which the old man picked up another crab and threw him back into the sea and said: “I made a difference to him.”

If you have got this far into the article, then I have made a difference to you.


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