When The Student is Ready The Teacher Disappears
I followed a “recent articles” link from Steven Pressfield‘s wonderful blog and email newsletter (First Look Access) — I really enjoy his “Writing Wednesdays” category — and came across a short essay on his friend Liam who applied for one of Seth Godin‘s rare and coveted (and generous) week long seminars (I think it qualifies more as an apprenticeship). Seth announces one of these every few years or so and lets anyone apply. When I see these posts I send links to a few of the brilliant people I have the privilege to know and encourage them to “go for it.”
Steven’s friend Liam went for it, but because of the sheer number of people I can only imagine apply for a limited number of these sought after spots, he was not selected for this latest session. He didn’t get picked.
In the blog post, Steven shares his insights into Liam’s situation and rightly points out that Seth’s core philosophy (which he shares in great details within the pages of Linchpin) is about not waiting to get picked — but having the courage to pick yourself.
What spending a week with Seth does is it gives us permission to be like Seth. To do the same stuff he does, only do it for ourselves. “So why,” Liam says, “can’t I perform that process myself? No reason at all. I can.”
Go read the blog post for Steven’s insight and more on how Liam plans to activate “the big Seth in his mind” — and be sure to read the comments — Mr. Linchpin-Tribes-Idea-Virus himself stops by and weighs in on the discussion, as do several other people who applied to Seth’s program and got in (and more who did not) who also share their perspective.
There is a saying that goes “when the student is ready, the teacher appears“, but I think you have to ask — when the student is ready for what? It is more likely that when the student is truly ready for success they no longer need to rely upon the teacher’s permission, acceptance, or need her to call on you because you raised your hand in class. You’ve graduated and the teacher fades away, because you no longer need her. You can call on yourself to do something great.
- You aren’t invited
No one is going to pick you to go out and put your project into action. No one is going to send you an engraved invitation to do your art. You just have to go and do it.
- You don’t need Seth’s permission
Seth Godin maybe the father of Permission Marketing, but he has nothing to do with Permission Creativity, Permission Project Implementation, or Permission Art Making. Believe it or not, that’s your job and my job and the job of anyone who has a project they “wish” they could put into action. You are your own Genie. You have the power to grant your own wishes.
- Walk away from your mop
Scott Ginsberg is another brilliant friend of mine (who I don’t think has ever waited for permission in his life) put it quite succinctly in his own post on Medium the other day where he dissected a success lesson from one of the best movies ever “…by walking away from the mop, he demonstrates profound trust in his own abilities.“
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