Always be willing to learn
This is not a new idea. As a teacher I have repeated this maxim many times to my own students. I recently had two experiences that reminded me that having the correct attitude influences my willingness to learn.
Last month, November 2022, I took the Kukkiwon Master’s certification course outside of Chicago. I will admit as the weekend approached I was pessimistic. I did not want to close my school for 3 days and I was not excited about the material. Going through the course I realized I was coming at it with the wrong attitude and setting myself up for failure, so I worked hard to keep an open mind regardless of my feelings. That was the key.
Regardless of how you feel about a subject or a potential learning experience, you still need to come in with an open mind. Coming in with an open mind allows you to change your feelings. It allows you to evaluate how you are reacting to the learning, because if you close your mind and feelings you will not learn or grow, regardless of the quality of instruction.
The big thing I took away from the seminar was that I needed to keep training. Now, I have never stopped training, but the instructor showed me a hole in my own technique. I learned I was not engaging my hip enough in many techniques. Through watching the instructor, Professor Grandmaster Ahn, and by being brought on stage and shown first hand, this was demonstrated to me more than once. This meant that I was not generating true power. The other big thing I learned by watching my fellow Master candidates. Not everyone arrived prepared for the course. Watching them reminded me to always stay on top of my own training. I still train by searching out instructors and resources. This keeps me energized about teaching, but it also keeps me up to date with changes in Taekwondo.
The other experience I had happened yesterday. I am working with a new company to help our school grow and I had to check my pride during onboarding. I am no computer expert, but I know my way around. During the onboarding process my account manager was going through the process using a script. What was frustrating in the moment, was him going over the process step-by-step. I wanted to move faster. This was my problem, not his. He has to communicate with many clients who will all have varying degrees of familiarity with DNS Subdomains, Facebook Pixels, etc. I don’t think I communicated that internal frustration over our Zoom call, but there was no reason for it. In the future I need to read the situation better and just let my own pride go.
Both of these experiences were good reminders.