I collect aphorisms, true rules, Secrets of Adulthood, and Proverbs of the Professions. I love seeing how great wisdom can be condensed into a single sentence.
There are certain proverbs that I’ve found to be extremely true in my own experience, and I find myself invoking them often.
One of my favorites is: When the student is ready, the teacher appears.
Over and over, I’ve found this to be true. Years ago, I was thinking about starting a blog but I just didn’t know where to begin. I happened to have coffee with a distant acquaintance to talk about something else, but when she mentioned that she’d launched a blog, I asked, “How do you start?” Then I just did what she recommended. I figured that it was more important to get it going than to get it perfect, and as it turned out, she gave me all the information I needed to get started.
When there’s something that’s puzzling or frustrating us, it’s easy to think, “If the right person would show up, that person could solve my problems.”
But I’ve found that the secret isn’t in the teachers crossing my path, but in creating my own readiness.
When I articulate very clearly in my own mind what I’m seeking to learn, that’s when I start seeing the teachers. Because the fact is, the teachers are out there—it’s myself that I need to make ready, to acknowledge and define what I want to learn.
Also, once I have my question clearly in mind, often I find it easier to seek out teachers—by sending out emails, doing research, even just asking around.
When the student is ready, the teacher appears.