“You always teach people what you most need to learn.”

I bumped into this quote from the book “The Seeker’s Guide” which I am currently reading. The author, Elizabeth Lesser, found the quote tacked on a wall at Esalen Institute. (The next time I’m there I’ll try and look for it.)

What does it mean? Well, for the author, it meant that she has found herself teaching others about facing death. Not just physical death, but other smaller deaths in our lives like losing a job, losing someone you love, going through a divorce, losing your youth. Basically, anything that requires a person to let go of something. She has found herself doing this because it is something that she has most needed to learn and face in her life.

So for those of us that are clueless about where we are failing in life, we can find out by looking at what we try to teach others.

I find myself always preaching about “just doing it”. I am always encouraging people to live out their dreams if they have a chance to. When I see someone on the brink of making a decision of taking a step towards achieving their dream versus playing it safe, I am the first one to jump in and say “Just do it! You will regret not doing it later.”

But if you know me or if you talk to any of my friends, you will find out that I am the biggest failure when it comes to “just doing it.” I am sometimes too practical. Too logical, too much on the safe side. I haven’t yet taken that leap of faith. But I often talk about doing it. Like starting my own business. I started, twice. Then when it came time to really quit the day job, I quit the business. I planned for living in Hawaii. But after some discouragement from a relative, I bailed out.

Which brings me to the second quote also tacked on the wall at Esalen Institute. “You are your own worst student.

Ain’t that right!