Discovering Hidden Gems

gemI teach Systema at Central FL Systema and absolutely love it. Aside from the deep passion and joy that it brings me, I learn and get to pass along very valuable lessons.

During a recent class, we were doing groundwork. One of my students immediately responded to a particular movement stating that it was too complicated, and he would never use this. Implied in here was that there would be little to no effort to learn it. Initially, I was less than thrilled with his comments and even less with his (lack of) effort. Then I realized was an absolutely great lesson this was, one that sounded a bit too familiar.

My wife Lisa,  was taking a Social Media Marketing class from a well known author and was very enthusiastic about it. Feeling her energy, I jumped in to the lessons as well, only to be disappointed by the initial content. In a short period of time, I found myself avoiding the class and rejecting it. “I don’t really see value in this” was my exact reply. Truth be told I really did not give it the time to accurately evaluate it.

About 2 weeks later, one of my favorite Internet marketers wrote an amazing piece about Social Media Marketing. I read this to Lisa and soon noticed an unusual grim forming on her face. Turns out the information I was reading was virtually identical to the content contained in the class that I “saw no value” in. The topics were virtually identical and even many of the phrases were identical.

And great.

The lesson that I learned was simple — Be open.

Be open to new experiences without placing labels or judgement on them. If an exercise or movement or class does not initially click , take this as a great opportunity to practice being open. To practice being non-judgemental.  You just never know when something will be useful, even if only once in your life.

These were valuable lessons. As I looked back on my life, I noticed a trend in this area — If there was no immediate spark, I often dismissed, may times too quickly. I wonder how many hidden gems were tossed away. How many opportunities lost because of rash decisions.

I remember the first time in Toronto, doing a particular breathing exercise. Breathing?  I came 1000 miles to learn breathing?  I wanted the “good stuff” and really did not put forth the effort in this drill that it truly. Years later, my teacher did the same drill and I was fascinated with it, experiencing the value almost immediately. On the long drive home, I “connected the dots,” so to speak. Needless to say, this error was never repeated.

Whereas the past cannot be altered, the present (and future) can. I look at things differently now, letting them unfold at whatever pace they choose. I do my best to experience without labeling. Though it can be very, very challenging at times, the great value that results is well worth the effort.

You may never need groundwork. You may never use Social Media Marketing. Find the hidden gems contained within. You never know what the end results of these may be.

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