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10 Reasons Books Are the Best Teachers

I can’t coach you man.  You’re un-coachable.  I’m un-coachable.  It’s Y2K plus change baby.  We’re all fucking un-coachable.

We have too many preconceived notions.  We fight back with what we think we know instead of putting plans into action and seeing if they actually work.

We cling to dogma and tradition instead of having the courage to try other methods.  We favor fitting in with our social circles instead of finding truth or efficiency.

We have massive egos. We are offended when someone disagrees or suggests an alternative strategy. So we tune them out.  Or worse, we ask them to coach us on our own methods.  I never understood that one?

We’d rather project an aura of intelligence or superiority, even in areas outside of our expertise, than be humble enough to learn and improve.

We ask too many questions – often times a disguise for fear or procrastination – instead of having faith in a plan, and embracing the process of struggle, growth, and evolution along the way.

We are good at acquiring information overload, but terrible at applying anything.  We are good talkers and pontificators, but terrible doers.

It’s like this Zen story:

Nan-in, a Japanese master during the Meiji era (1868-1912), received a university professor who came to inquire about Zen.
Nan-in served tea. He poured his visitor’s cup full, and then kept on pouring.
The professor watched the overflow until he no longer could restrain himself. “It is overfull. No more will go in!”
“Like this cup,” Nan-in said, “you are full of your own opinions and speculations. How can I show you Zen unless you first empty your cup?” – 101 Zen Stories

It is 2014. We don’t have cups of tea anymore. We have 84-ounce jugs.  Yet our jugs of tea are still full.  And although some of our teas taste like shit, we’re too proud or scared to empty that trash out and try a new one.

How do you break through that force field? You blast through it with great books.

Maybe I’m just a shitty coach?  I’m fully prepared to admit that. I’ve always looked at myself as an athlete and student who enjoys sharing what has helped me, rather than a coach.

But maybe after 15 years of watching how people learn best, I’m on to something.

Regardless, here are 10 reasons why I believe books make the best teachers.

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