In a coaching call yesterday my student started to bring some clarity for me.
He calls it “nodding” when he has no idea what he just heard, or what he just read.
That is the visible part of this huge iceberg… but what is in the immersed part?
At age three you start to get that you are a person, separate from your parents, or caretakers. This is a big step and scary as hell. Because you get that they know EVERYTHING and you know NOTHING, and that you are NOT EQUAL.
I put the important words that create horrid marker feelings, aka emotions.
They make you feel small, inferior, and put you in desperate survival mode. If you could be just equal to other people, if you could just know everything, everything would be all right, whispers the mind, and you listen.
So when someone wants to help you to tie your shoe laces, you protest, I know how… and they tie your shoe laces for you. Because, of course, they don’t believe you. Win number 1.
Now, fast forward a few years, and the same thing is happening: you pretend… and they do it for you.
But later, all the pretending gets you nothing… but the behavior remains. If you just pretend that you know, or that you understand, you will be OK.
So you never develop your capacity to get curious, to research, to ask questions, to assess if what you are reading hold any water.
You never actually learn anything.
Yesterday my student and I talked about drooling, which is the saliva spilling out through the open mouth.
But it is natural to drool… if you know biology. Just know it on the elementary school level…
Turns out that my student knew nothing, and my guess is: you know nothing either… judging from your general level of ignorance.
But why would you be ignorant, is what I am pondering. Some of you have high IQ. Some of you are in graduate programs, some of you have professional degrees, like my student.
So why would you be ignorant? Makes no sense to me.
And why am I not ignorant?
And then I realized: when I pretended that I knew, no matter how old I was, they let me figure it out for myself. So I didn’t learn the trick you have: nod and you’ll look clever. I learned: do research, find out, ponder it until it’s clear to you.
But I am one in a million.
In “writing school” they recommend writing for 10 year olds when you write for an adult audience. They know something i am just learning.
Unfortunately you want to read about topics, issues, that cannot be explained to a 10 year old.
My student got that he is building on air… and since yesterday enrolled in an online class on biology, and ordered some books. All to start building a foundation on which, when he nods his head, it will not be a pretense. And when something is not clear, he will be able to ask questions that are clarifying instead of forcing the coach/teacher to go back to fifth grade, and do the work for you. Ask questions of google that make sense. Be able to evaluate the search results and call b.s. when b.s. is due.