Don’t Just Say It – Leading By Example

The most powerful method of teaching and communicating is leading by example. This differs from how we think communication happens. I think of this in the context of my parents telling me not to curse as a kid.

They told me not to curse, but they went about cussing themselves. They would say I shouldn’t curse and that was the lesson they were trying to communicate. What I learned was that cursing was a privilege of adults. What I learned is I could curse when my parents weren’t around. I could curse with other kids at school as long as I didn’t get caught. I could curse any time except when an adult was supervising me. I appreciate that my parents told me not to curse because they wanted me to live a better life than they had.  They could see a better way of living and they wanted me to live that way. However, it’s hard in life to do any teach without also acting. When my parents told me not to curse, the real lesson I learned was the opposite of what they tried to teach.

Now, the same opportunity presents itself for me as a parent with my daughter. If I want her not to curse, I know the only way I can hope to communicate that with her is to not curse myself. This is challenging because I’ve cursed for most of my life. It takes a lot of practice to not curse. My gaming videos have helped me see that I have more work to do than I think.

When you lead by example it’s also simple to teach. I’ve been lucky with all the teaching I do online to use this simple style. It allows me to teach so much more faster than before.

If you have to learn new rules in things you’re not actually doing and then teaching them, that is a ton of work. It’s simple to just do something and then tell someone what you’re doing. It’s the oldest and the original form of teaching.

How many times have you heard things people are doing and you’re sure they’re not doing it themselves? There are an unlimited amount of diets, tips, ways you should manage your life. If you’re not doing it in their own life why are you telling me that I ought to do it?

Too often, we try to teach by saying you’ll do a better job than me kind of teaching. The same thing occurs when people tell others not to curse. When people say “I’m cursing, but you can do better than me by not cursing” we can see there’s a more ideal way of life. We want other people to live that better life because deep down we feel like we don’t deserve to live a better life. We are not capable of living a better life. We’re not able to be how we should be. We’re not able to be the person we ought to be in anything. We want to be the parent you want to teach your child to be or be the friend you want to teach your child to be.

How many times have you looked at your friends and thought if you were a different way, then you’d be a better friend? How much harder is it to just do that yourself and be that better friend? How many times have you looked at your partner and said if they could be a certain way, they’d be better for you? How many times have they looked at you and said the same thing? How many times have you wanted to be that certain way, but felt like you couldn’t?

For me, I had to ask to open up to receiving help. I can’t be any way other than who I am. The only way I can change is to allow other people’s teaching into who I am. I can ask for help to open me up to learning other people’s example. I feel that’s the real learning we do from other people’s examples. This means that if you learn from someone who you want to be like, then you will be more like them. I go to a support group every day of people who’ve conquered the same kind of problems I have. I see people who are living lives that are honorable and I say I want to be like that when I’m older. I want to have that kind of peace of mind after you’ve dealt with every single thing you can imagine. When I’m 70 years old, I want to admit when I’m afraid. I’ve learned so much by example. I study people that I see each day that have happy peaceful lives. What are they doing that they get that kind of life?

They teach me because they tell me what they do. When I find out how they get a good life, I try it. I don’t just copy what one person does, I ask a lot of different people what they do. I have a bunch of ideas that I get from different people based on what they’re different that works for them. To be fair, anything I’m sharing that works for you is a reflection of what I’ve learned. In fact, I’m limited here to what I can share by what I’ve learned from other people. If I’m not learning, if I think I’ve got it all then there’s nothing else for me to teach. There’s nothing left for me to communicate because learning and teaching are one. If you want to teach someone else a lesson, the only way you can teach someone else a lesson is to lead by example.

If you want someone else to be a better driver, then the only way you can teach that is to be a better driver. If you want your husband, wife, or partner to be better, you must show them what better looks like in you. I’m amazed to see as I’ve improved. I’ve learned to see my wife doing the same things I’m doing and to improve on them, it’s inspiring. She watches what I do, she learned from what I do and adapts. She also teaches me something new and it’s cool. There’s a positive feedback loop of learning that allows us to have a relationship that’s good. It doesn’t mean it’s not free from annoyances and challenges. It means that it is so much better than any other relationship I’ve had before. It’s shocking. If I wasn’t actually here, I wouldn’t have thought this was possible.

It’s possible through leading and learning by example. It’s possible by opening up and asking for it. I pray every day to be a good husband. That’s right up there towards the top of my prayers because that’s one of my top roles. I also pray to be a good father. I say I’m willing to do anything to be a good father. That means I’m willing to change who I am to be a good father. I’m willing to give up who I am to be the father I need to be. That’s scary because I don’t know how I’m going to be but I feel so much love and faith. I understand my purpose and everything that comes along is a learning experience. That helps me to be a better husband, father, and teacher online. I pray to be a good student online. I pray to do a good job with these videos and that gives me a wholehearted simple approach to life today.

What I’m doing is actually average. It’s simple. I feel like anyone has the ability to do this. It requires stripping away all the extra things. You must strip away all the mind structures. This is how you should do things and this is how I’m doing things. I have a simple life where I say and show what I’m doing and I spend time doing it. It’s simple most of the time. The only time it gets complicated is when I start setting up expectations that it ought to be different. I’m grateful for each person especially you. You inspire me to keep learning and doing better. You inspire me to keep learning and making a better example. If we keep inspiring people to make a better example, that’s how we get all our problems solved. We don’t have to work on any problems, we don’t have to work on poverty or inequality. If we all inspire each other to be better, that will solve every single problem.

I pray today to remember that leading by example is the only way I can teach. It’s the only way I can learn is to learn by other people’s examples. I pray to keep living a simple life today where I learn what works for other people. I try it out for myself and then I talk about it with you. I pray that you have the same chance today to learn and lead by example. We can all inspire each other to do our best and have a great life that each of us has worked hard for. Thank you for reading this. Have a wonderful day.