The Excitement of Learning – Emotional Pro

June 15th, 2006

If anyone had told me I would be starting what amounts to a whole new career at age 63, I would not have believed them. Yet, that’s what I am doing. And as part of the launch of my program for psychotherapists (and eventually, everybody who wants to grow and master their emotions), I am learning. My ears are burning from the number of teleseminars I have been attending. My computer is bulging with notes. Most of all, my heart is full of excitement! To me, that’s what learning is all about.
As part of focusing on the “Born to Learn” concept for my writing, I have been emphasizing it more in my work in psychotherapy. It’s really hot! So many therapists are frustrated because their clients are not motivated to learn (they spend half their therapy time finding the right buttons to push to get people to work on their issues). With Born to Learn, this is not a problem. “Hey,” I say to people, “this lesson has come up for you now. It’s time for you to learn it. However, if you’re not ready yet, don’t worry. It will come around again! In fact, it will be with you until you either learn it or you die. And, by the way, each time it comes around, there’s going to be more pain attached to this lesson. But, take your time. Work on it only when you are ready!”
I’m not the one who pushes for motivation. The person’s own pain does that. Curiously, I have found that we humans dislike change so much that we wait to make the change we know we need to make until the pain of where we are is so bad that we figure it couldn’t be any worse to take the risk of making the change! With the Born to Learn work I have done on myself, I have made the marvelous discovery that embracing the change and making it as soon as it becomes evident reduces pain levels drastically. Learning lessons feels easy, after you embrace the concept that we’re all in school and learning is “required” as part of being on this earth. Learning, of course, means change.
Learning also means excitement! Did you ever know a 3 or 4 year old who wasn’t excited about something new s/he learned? This is our natural state. We want to learn new things. So here I am at 63, embarking on all these new paths, and I’m excited, just like a 3 or 4 year old.
Today I spoke with Steve Harrison. “Tell people your story,” he advised. “Paint them an outcome if they work with you.” Here are some “outcomes” we talked about. 1) The material with which I work is so powerful that if someone asks me “do you think I will get anything if I can only afford one session?” my answer is a resounding “yes.” Furthermore, once they come in the door, the work is so powerful that they opt to stay and work. Lots of therapists would like to have their work be so powerful and incisive that it “hooks” people into learning and growing in only one hour. 2) With those kinds of results, advertising becomes “word of mouth”–the best kind. 3) Because the Born to Learn concepts teach people about the lessons they need to learn and we then give them the tools for learning those lessons, psychotherapists don’t have to sit and listen to a person discuss the same old problems (in the same old ways) session after session. Imagine if you could do that with your friends, too! 4) People come back, within a very short time of working with me, and tell me “I feel calmer,” “I have more ‘room’ inside my head,” and “I utilized this story you told last week in my own life; and it worked!”
It reminded me of a couple with whom I worked many years ago. The wife was very interested in therapy, but her husband, in particular didn’t like having a woman tell him what he needed to do in life to make things better. He came for a few sessions and refused to come any more. In deference to her husband, they both stopped coming for counseling. Six months later, I got a note from the woman, advising me of how things were going. “We’re doing pretty well, actually. I don’t know if I ever told you, but my husband always referred to you as ‘That Woman.’ What is funny now is that we may be having a disagreement, and even though he doesn’t want to work with you any more, he remembers what you said. He tells me ‘Don’t forget what That Woman said about that!”
I’m aiming to be better known than “That Woman.” However, in the meantime, I’m excited about all the learning, change and new things I have in my life. And that’s another thing that the Born to Learn work has brought to me: I don’t take much of anything personally anymore; and whenever fear rears its head, I face it and send it packing, within a few minutes! It’s great. I’m excited to share this learning with as many people as I can reach!

Leave a Reply