“When we do the best that we can, we never know what miracle is wrought in our life, or in the life of another.”
~ Helen Keller ~
Sharing is caring, as they say. When I find an article or video that captures my attention, I like to share it with my family and friends. Recently I saw a video of Tim Ferris interviewing Josh Waitzkin, a former child prodigy chess player who was the basis for the movie “Searching for Bobby Fisher”. Josh coaches CEO’s now, and he mentions how listening to your intuition is critical for performing at a high level. I consider myself an intuitive person, so this topic is particularly interesting to me. Because of this self-perceived intuitiveness, I think I know what topics my friends like (you know where I am going with this).
I have a friend who likes to learn about several subjects at once. So I shared with him the video (don’t worry, I will also share it with you). I was certain he would find the section about learning and intuition fascinating. When I saw him next, I asked him what he thought of it. He said the video was excellent, and he especially liked the part about heart rate variability. I exclaimed “What!? Did I send you the wrong video?” I really couldn’t recall anything about heart rate variability. “Yeah”, he said, “I am pretty sure Josh mentions how he used HRV techniques to kick into high gear”. Ok, so then he did see the same video I did. So how could I miss this topic myself? I decided to re-watch it.
This morning I watched the video again, took notes, AND I noticed my behavior. The video covers several topics, including foiling/surfing, unconscious learning, tracking biomarkers, resonance frequencies, triggers, using your intuition (best part), and yes, the mysterious heart rate variability is indeed there. I was completely taken aback how I missed it, and of course, now I had to find out why. During my second pass at the same video, I realized that my attention would drift on and off. Why was that, if the video is not that long (about 45 minutes), and the topic interests me?
I realize that I watched that particular video because I already have an interest in the topic of learning and intuition, and I believed those topics would be discussed in detail. I also realized that any other topic I heard, I either skipped but remembered I did (surfing), or not noticed it altogether (HRV). Since I don’t see myself competing for a surfing championship any time soon, I disregarded it. HRV was something I had never heard of, and because it was outside my “zone of interest”, I did not notice it.
My behavior while learning is somewhat concerning in the sense that I may miss something important because I think I already know it, I think I have no interest in it, or I am unfamiliar with it. My own lesson from this is to pay attention to all I hear or see, not because I will use all of it, but because I may miss something, a hidden gem, that could benefit me. It is ok to discard those things I do not want to pursue, but I should do it with sufficient information.
My other lesson is that no matter how well you think you know someone, everyone is on a different path in their life journey. Priorities change all the time for people, and one week they may be interested in taking a new physical activity, while another they are contemplating whether to start a college program or attend a workshop online. Even my own priorities are changing all the time. I will try to not assume I know the present estate of interest of my friends/relatives as well as I think.
Now I see sharing knowledge as planting seeds. I still share articles or quotes that I believe are inspirational, but I have no agenda. I share complete and open, and people will interpret it their own way, and come to their own conclusions to use or not. Which is really the point of life, sharing experiences, and taking what you can use for the good, while leaving the rest alone, without judgement. The seed will become the plant in their own time and with their own means. You did your part by sharing the idea, and sometimes, somehow, you will benefit from its fruits.
The video I mentioned earlier is here: here