If you visit any of the few remaining book stores in America, you are sure to find a self help section. There are hundreds of books written on a variety of topics, all promising to help you become the better you that you’ve always dreamed of. There are also a multitude of blogs, video blogs with talking heads, all promising you that if you follow these 4 steps, you can become the better you, that you’ve always dreamed of.
I admit, I love to read and watch video blogs and I would be guilty of telling untruths if I didn’t admit to reading a few self help books myself. However I want to share a unique experience that I observed over the winter break while relaxing with my two young nephews who are 1/35th my age. We were in the living room when one of the young men who recently learned to walk began itching his way towards the stairs. I watched with rapt attention as the young man confidently moved his tiny feet in the direction of the stairs. Before him stood grandpa, firmly standing in the stairwell. The little scholar simply out stretched his hand (singular, yes , just his little hand) and lifted his foot, like he was 20 years old, and proceeded to reach for the step below. This young man didn’t try to crawl down the stairs, he wanted to walk just like the bigger people. I watched in amazement. When Grandpa got tired of walking the little man down the stairs, it was my turn to stand hunched over, holding his little hand, as his little feet reached for the stairs before him.
This caused me to do a little thinking. I thought to myself, ‘who taught him how to walk to down the stairs?’ Did he read it in a book? Did he ask someone to show him how to do it? Did he take a class at the local community college? Everyone would agree with the answer ‘no’
So what have I learned from this experience? The next time I want to learn something, do something, or experience something, I should remember this little experience. Before you reach for that self help book, or sign up for that next class, or complain that so and so teacher doesn’t teach to your preferred learning style, consider the ways of the baby. A baby doesn’t care about powerpoint, youtube videos, books, tests, quizes, and yet, they learn to walk and talk, eat, and sleep… just fine. If I could summarize my thoughts in one sentence, I would borrow the Nike slogan ‘Just Do It.’ Don’t worry about being right or perfect the first time, just do it.
Observe, and do.
Proverbs 6.6 Go to the ant, you sluggard. Consider her ways, and be wise;