BRENT STOLLER

Writer. Advice giver. Peanut butter and chocolate enthusiast.

We Teach What We Need to Learn

A wise woman (OK, it was my mother, a therapist) just told me:

We teach what we need to learn.

Well, it’s time for me to look in the mirror.

For the last couple months, I’ve been coming on here every day espousing the upside of failurethe danger of negative self-talkthe incremental nature of success; and numerous other personal growth preachings.

Yet too often I’ve been failing to follow my own advice.

I beat up on myself, and I question my pace of progress, and I struggle to keep hope alive.

Pick your favorite cliche — talk is cheap; easier said than done; actions speak louder than words — and I’ve proved it.

This all feels counterintuitive, because in theory, you can only teach what you know, and what you know, you’ve already learned.

But I guess knowing something rationally isn’t the same as knowing it emotionally, deep in your gut, throughout every fiber of your being.

In order to live it, you have to breathe it.

Though I’m embarrassed to admit to these shortcomings, I’m thankful for the revelation that brought them to light.

Because now I know that everything I urge you to do through my writing is something I haven’t yet done.

Who knew it could be so helpful to be a hypocrite?

*****

This originally appeared on 100 Naked Words.

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