After writing a couple of days ago about the 3 roles that successful people play, I found it ironic that our Day 3 assignment from the #StartExp was to find someone who was an expert at what we wanted to accomplish.
The reason that this stood out to me is that this supports the need to fulfill our first role.
This is the role of student.
From our earliest age we have functioned in a student capacity. Whether it was watching mom and dad complete a task, sitting in a grade school classroom, or studying in a university.
We’ve all been exposed to life as a student.
The teacher/student paradigm changes for successful people.
The dynamics change, and this is a good thing as there are many who have no desire to relive their classroom days.
And though life may give us opportunities to visit the classroom, being a student tends to follow an older paradigm of master and apprentice.
What we need to understand is that this relationship dynamic in content specific. As I mature there are areas where I’m the master teaching someone else which is a role we will talk about later in the series. For now we will focus on how we function as an apprentice.
What is an apprentice?
Defined as a person willing to learn a skill or trade from another.
Synonyms include words like:
learner – novice – prentice – disciple – pupil
This is the role we must be willing to assume.
We must have a willingness to acknowledge our own shortcoming so that we can learn the skills necessary to achieve success.
Successful people love to become students on the chance that with enough work and commitment the old saying will become a reality.
“The student has now become the teacher”
That with enough effort and commitment we can master new skills that we can use in all aspects of our life.
If we ever stop engaging in the role of student we limit the total capacity of what we can offer any project we are working on.
We have to understand this applies to every area of our lives and every role we are working in.
Whether you work for a major company or run your own business. No matter what professional or personal capacity you function is we must be learning.
So this leads us to a crucial question.
Why do I need to keep learning new skills once I’ve mastered one?
The answer is that the day of the specialist is fading.
Our society is a matrix. Interconnected on so many different levels. We as human beings are asked to function in a large variety of capacities every day and successful people seek to do all things with excellence. For example why does the successful business owner sign up for golf or tennis lessons? The answer is simple success is a pattern or habit that the person has become accustomed to, and if I want to be successful in golf or tennis like they are in business than it is going to take work.
So let’s make this even more personal maybe even a little uncomfortable. If I’m willing to work very hard to be a successful writer or speaker or business professional, but I’m not willing to work on being a good husband or a good father than the results I get out of the marriage or fatherhood will be far less fulfilling than if I had been willing to be student and learn and develop in those areas.
The role of student is not optional if your desire is to be a success in any role. We must continue
to grow in all aspect of life.
And this brings us to another very difficult question.
How do I select an instructor/master?
This is a process but I will give 3 questions to ask yourself to determine where you are learning from.
1. Do I respect this person as a field expert?
2. Is this person a respected in the field by their peers?
3. Is this person or tool a willing teacher?
Once you’ve identified the instructor seek them out and ask to be mentored. Make it known that you are willing student and willing to learn.
One note to remember, not all teachers must be one on one. You can learn as part of a group, as well as through a variety of medium.
I encourage you to approach a variety of mentors as it is imperative that you have options in who you are working with.
This is the first of 3 roles that successful people operate in on a daily basis.