The autumn leaves are falling like rain. Although my neighbors are all barbarians and you, you are a thousand miles away, there are always two cups at my table.

T’ang Dynasty poem

Ten thousand flowers in spring, the moon in autumn, a cool breeze in summer, snow in winter. If your mind isn't clouded by unnecessary things, this is the best season of your life.

~ Wu-men ~


Sunday, March 16, 2014

Accepting Advice and Having Nothing to Prove

I would like to reference two posts I read that are relevant to anyone studying martial arts as a budo.

Cameron Conaway had a very good post giving advice on how to ... graciously take advice. An excerpt is below. The full post may be read here

In his post, Cameron makes reference to another good post on Having Nothing to Prove. An excerpt follows the first excerpt and THAT full post may be read here.

Now some advice about advice ...

...This process only lasted an hour, but for that entire hour I carried anger and that “I know” attitude. It wasn’t until months later, and then again upon reflecting on Kendall Ruth’s brilliant article about re-learning titled Nothing to Prove: On Being a 40-Year-Old Man that the monk’s lessons sunk in. That I made a conscious effort to couple the “I know” with action. That the following 6 pieces of advice about advice rose up within me:

(1) When somebody gives you advice you already know, do not say “I know.” Instead, say “thank you.” Life is a practice. We all need reminders.

(2) Do not eliminate the “I know” from your train of thought. If you know it then know it more. And if you know it and fully believe in it then ask yourself: Am I living what I know? Often the greatest advice you’ll ever receive isn’t some new world-revealing insight. It’s something you already know handed to you in a new shape.

(3) Ask for consent. You know the person who seems to interrupt any personal situation you present with their unsolicited advice? Don’t be that person. Listening is its own form of advice. If you really feel strongly about giving then there’s no shame in simply saying something like: I’ve been thinking about this an awful lot. Do you want my advice?

(4) Advice is not hierarchical. There is giving in the receiving and there is receiving in the giving. Advice is often wielded in an attempt to exhibit power. An older sibling, though the younger may be wiser, might give advice as a way to make clear their maturity status. Motive matters.

(5) Advice can follow the writing maxim of “Show don’t tell.” Some of the best information I’ve ever received came through observing the way mentors and role models truly lived their recommendation. They didn’t have to tell me. They showed me.

(6) Past advice need not live in history. Carve out some time to reflect back on the best advice you’ve ever given or received. The advice you need now may very well be the advice you received then.



... and now an excerpt from Kendall Ruth's post ...



...I set out to see if a 40-year old could still make it through absurd endurance. What I rediscovered was the value of living in joy regardless of circumstance, that I have always had this unyielding river in me that flows whether I pay it mind or not.

Men are taught directly or subtly that we have to prove ourselves. We breathe it in like a fish breathes water. There is a time when proving your mettle has context. Why else would the military be filled with men in their 20′s? Where else would adrenaline sports find their junkies? But the lesson that comes with time is that indeed…there is nothing to prove. There is living each day with the choices we make.

It is far too easy to get bogged down in regrets. Life is too short and fragile for those to make up the majority of our story. Nobody else is going to give a damn about your regret. Get over yourself, get up in the morning and live, even if it means burning the very tissue that holds you together.

As for me I have a run to go enjoy, regardless of the outcomes.
This process only lasted an hour, but for that entire hour I carried anger and that “I know” attitude. It wasn’t until months later, and then again upon reflecting on Kendall Ruth’s brilliant article about re-learning titled Nothing to Prove: On Being a 40-Year-Old Man that the monk’s lessons sunk in. That I made a conscious effort to couple the “I know” with action. That the following 6 pieces of advice about advice rose up within me:
(1) When somebody gives you advice you already know, do not say “I know.” Instead, say “thank you.” Life is a practice. We all need reminders.
(2) Do not eliminate the “I know” from your train of thought. If you know it then know it more. And if you know it and fully believe in it then ask yourself: Am I living what I know? Often the greatest advice you’ll ever receive isn’t some new world-revealing insight. It’s something you already know handed to you in a new shape.
(3) Ask for consent. You know the person who seems to interrupt any personal situation you present with their unsolicited advice? Don’t be that person. Listening is its own form of advice. If you really feel strongly about giving then there’s no shame in simply saying something like: I’ve been thinking about this an awful lot. Do you want my advice?
(4) Advice is not hierarchical. There is giving in the receiving and there is receiving in the giving. Advice is often wielded in an attempt to exhibit power. An older sibling, though the younger may be wiser, might give advice as a way to make clear their maturity status. Motive matters.
(5) Advice can follow the writing maxim of “Show don’t tell.” Some of the best information I’ve ever received came through observing the way mentors and role models truly lived their recommendation. They didn’t have to tell me. They showed me.
(6) Past advice need not live in history. Carve out some time to reflect back on the best advice you’ve ever given or received. The advice you need now may very well be the advice you received then.
- See more at: http://cameronconaway.com/6-piece-of-advice-about-advice/#sthash.vFnesh8f.dpuf
This process only lasted an hour, but for that entire hour I carried anger and that “I know” attitude. It wasn’t until months later, and then again upon reflecting on Kendall Ruth’s brilliant article about re-learning titled Nothing to Prove: On Being a 40-Year-Old Man that the monk’s lessons sunk in. That I made a conscious effort to couple the “I know” with action. That the following 6 pieces of advice about advice rose up within me:
(1) When somebody gives you advice you already know, do not say “I know.” Instead, say “thank you.” Life is a practice. We all need reminders.
(2) Do not eliminate the “I know” from your train of thought. If you know it then know it more. And if you know it and fully believe in it then ask yourself: Am I living what I know? Often the greatest advice you’ll ever receive isn’t some new world-revealing insight. It’s something you already know handed to you in a new shape.
(3) Ask for consent. You know the person who seems to interrupt any personal situation you present with their unsolicited advice? Don’t be that person. Listening is its own form of advice. If you really feel strongly about giving then there’s no shame in simply saying something like: I’ve been thinking about this an awful lot. Do you want my advice?
(4) Advice is not hierarchical. There is giving in the receiving and there is receiving in the giving. Advice is often wielded in an attempt to exhibit power. An older sibling, though the younger may be wiser, might give advice as a way to make clear their maturity status. Motive matters.
(5) Advice can follow the writing maxim of “Show don’t tell.” Some of the best information I’ve ever received came through observing the way mentors and role models truly lived their recommendation. They didn’t have to tell me. They showed me.
(6) Past advice need not live in history. Carve out some time to reflect back on the best advice you’ve ever given or received. The advice you need now may very well be the advice you received then.
- See more at: http://cameronconaway.com/6-piece-of-advice-about-advice/#sthash.vFnesh8f.dpuf

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