All my life I’ve been a (bad) tennis player, a (bad) pianist and a (bad) spiritual seeker. I was always convinced that I could do better, but evidence seemed to prove otherwise. However my desire to be better at these things persisted, and for 30 years I’ve made various (failed) attempts to resurrect my skills. Usually this involved the conviction to ‘have one last try’, the finding of another teacher and a year or two of continued poor playing.
The revelation came when my kids started tennis, and I asked their coach for lessons. Within a few months she had me playing with the skill that I’d always suspected lay within. The pure unadulterated joy I feel every time I hit a ball in the way I always suspected I could seems endless.
So now my kid started with piano lessons, and I asked him to teach me too. What a revelation when again, within a few short months, he has me playing confidently at a level I’d always dreamed of but never seemed to be able to achieve.
The thing is that I’m not actually achieving anything – he’s pulled out of me the skills and talent that was always within, but bogged down in too much thinking and analysis and pressure.
And so it is with our ourselves and our children – if we are not succeeding, we need to have the confidence to try a different teacher before we abandon the effort, it might make all the difference.