Have you ever had a discussion about which martial art is the best? You know, the one where someone says that Karate beats Tae Kwon Do because it’s more “grounded?” Or, that Aikido is most dangerous because it uses the opponent’s attack against them? Or, that Jeet Kune Do is best because Bruce Lee developed it?
Martial artists love this kind of talk. It’s fun to contemplate what style is better by analyzing and comparing techniques. After having done martial arts for almost 25 years, though, I have come to a different conclusion. Sure, there are technical differences that might make one art nominally better than another depending on the situation or the practitioner’s body type, but when it comes to self-defense, which style we know isn’t as important as whether we are going to be able to use it when we need it.
Though there are many factors that influence this, one of the most important is who taught us. Is the teacher proficient? Can s/he communicate what s/he knows? Is s/he patient? These and other factors influence how well a teacher can instill the tenets of his/her art into students. Likewise, a teacher who can do this for the most people is considered the “best” teacher – and most of us want to be with the best when we learn something, right?
Here’s the thing, though: your teacher doesn't need to be the “best,” s/he only needs to be the best for you. There are plenty of great teachers out there but even the best teachers don't connect with all students. Mrs. Robertson was the best math teacher in my Jr. high but I know that not all students connected with her style of teaching. Interestingly, those who didn't connect with her seemed to do well with another math teacher – different strokes for different folks.
So, when someone asks me which martial art is best, I tell them to do the one with a teacher they connect with.
The same is true with self-improvement. In the last 30-40 years, many effective techniques have been developed, and, just as with martial artists, people in the field like to argue which techniques are most effective for self-development. Again, as with martial arts, I think that most techniques have merit and can help people improve their lives. It is the person we work with that makes the key difference.
The main technique I use is NLP and every once in awhile someone tells me that s/he thinks NLP doesn't work. I’m always surprised when I hear this because I disagree. Considering all the great results I’ve had with clients I can’t understand how anyone could pooh-pooh a system that works so well.
You can imagine that I’ve concluded the reason for their opinion is because they must not have had a good connection with their guide. This saddens me because I have seen people make remarkable improvements in their lives using self-development techniques. Of course, I think the improvements came not so much from the techniques as much as from that magical connection between guide and client.
So, if you have tried self-development but haven’t seen improvement or didn't think it worked, ask yourself if you liked/trusted/connected with your guide. In most cases, lack of success comes from a lack of connection between client and guide causing the client to give up before seeing results.
When you embark on the path to an improved life, make sure you feel good about your guide. If you do, the results will be impressive. If not, you’ll walk away disappointed and a guide will lose an opportunity to make the world a better place.
Which brings me back to the title of this post: though I’m good at what I do, unless you and I have that connection, I won’t be the best for you and your desire to improve your life. Remember that when you choose your guide and you’ll be able to achieve exciting results.
Tune in next time to find out why you are a lot like a supertanker.