The Thursday ThoughtCast - 08/09/2016.
“The Best Testimonial – Ever!”
...And when James said “I can’t believe it, it’s too easy”, he told me exactly what was happening in his mind.
You and I both know that the words people use when they speak automatically broadcast their thoughts to us, so we listen closely.
James’ off-handed remark told me that he couldn’t square-up the evidence of his own hands, eyes and ears with the idea of difficulty he’d had in his mind for years.
The problem wasn’t the subject matter – even though James had been trying to understand the conventional explanations for over a decade.
No, the real problem was that James’ mind was being scrambled by the explanation – because it was TOO easy, and that made it wrong for him.
My simple teaching gadget snapped everything into pin-sharp focus and violated James’s mental rules of how things were supposed to be.
Instead of the problem of confusion, which he had grown up with and had come to expect, he had the new problem of clarity and concision.
What a great problem to have!
The real problem was the mismatch between what James now understood and what he thought was proper for him: his unconscious idea of what was normal.
You see, “Easy” is just easy - but “too easy” is weird... “too easy” is a problem.
That’s because when you say the word “too” it silently imposes pre-conceived limits and external standards on you.
“Too...” means there’s a problem, it means there’s something wrong... but you just don’t know what it is, yet.
You’re looking for the concealed down- side, aren’t you?
Can you imagine someone who is too nice, or too good for you...?
If they’re too nice, it stands to reason that they must be hiding something nasty, doesn’t it?
Words such as “too, enough, proper, and right” are normative language and it’s the silent enforcer of normality and standards– usually other people’s standards.
Normative language tells us what is acceptable and proper for us, and unless we are alert to its silent power, we are easily infected and influenced by other people’s ideas of what is proper for us.
Using words like “too, proper, and enough” can make good things feel wrong. They will even try to make you feel guilty for having too much fun, for being too happy, for earning too much money, or being too caring...
But tear out the “Too” from “Too easy” and all that’s left is plain-old easy.
That one little thing might change your life.
Let go of your expectation of difficulty and learn to expect easy, to welcome better, and to enjoy more...
And, please - don’t be like the frustrated guitar player who ended our first session together by giving me the Best Testimonial a teacher could ask for - EVER!
He thanked me for my time, but refused to study with me because, as he put it: “...You’re going to make it too easy and take away all of the challenges and difficulties from me.”
You couldn’t make it up!
If only I could have got him on video saying that...
“Too easy, or just plain-old easy?
© Neil Cowmeadow 2016
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The Thursday Thesis is a fun way to share ideas and experiences from life as a Guitar Teacher, Certified NLP Practitioner and Life-Coach, Retailer, Composer, Player, Technician, Accountant, Scientist and Writer... and as the father of a wonderful son.
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