My mentor in college didn’t agree with any of my worldview beliefs. None. I still think he was brilliant. All my best teachers have totally opposing points of view. I improve most by interacting with unfamiliar thinking. Don’t enlist expertise to get new facts and figures. When you’re aiming to grow, hire someone to change HOW you think and WHY you behave the way you do. How. Why. Not What.
Last week was a good reminder. Monday, I worked with an expert at the range for hours. Friday, I worked with a different expert, @sir.michaeljames, and we completed 2 hours of tactical drills. I have to recommend him for anyone looking to learn practical multi-disciplinary self-defense, situational awareness, tactical and close combat chops.
In both cases, I spent exactly zero minutes talking about my prior shooting experience, fights I’ve been in, etc. At no point did I say “I know what to do; I just don’t do it” or some other throwaway sentence to shield a fragile ego. Even when I join peers for their workouts, I still say, “speak to me as if I know nothing.” Lead like I have never been inside a gym or seen a barbell. If I ask for input, I mean it.
Humility is the most powerful tool in the universe. “I don’t have the answer” is the closest thing we have to a superpower or the capacity of a demigod. If you are to change, you must destroy the fear of change. You cannot do that until you are ready to annihilate the ego. Then, come to the table as an empty vessel.
To this day, I'm surprised at how much I hear people make some statement about their incredible knowledge, even when it's apparent they don't know anything about a subject, even when they're working with a coach or trainer, even when they're taking a class, even when they're allegedly revising their faulty tactics and thinking. It's common because it's ego protection. The frail ego has a difficult time giving itself up. But, again, I believe letting go of our conceit and ego is the only way to genuinely learn and grow.
Frankly, it's the only point of asking, seeking, or hiring someone to augment or improve your approach.