My favorite phrase and my motto come from the book Illusions by Richard Bach who wrote the bestseller Jonathan Livingston Seagull. It is “You teach best what you most need to learn.” I have found that to be so true in my own life, and I want to explore the true meaning and relevance of this phrase.
When you really need something that you also want, but are having difficulty motivating yourself to do
it, try teaching it. It is the greatest way to reinforce it and make it part of you. As you teach it, you work
with others who need and want the same lessons.
There is such power in the group. The roles often switch; the teacher becomes the student, and the
student becomes the teacher. A personal example is when my daughter was a child, I wanted to be a better parent, so I created parenting groups and taught parenting skills as part of my job as an elementary school counselor. Later when I wanted to be more positive in my life, I created a cable television show called “Positive People.” Over thirty years, that has evolved into the current radio show I host and produce.
I use those examples to ask you to examine what it is you need and want at this time in your life. How can you teach others at the same time? Can you create a group? Can you teach a class? Can you work with others who want the same thing? The best teachers are the best students of the subject.
Doing this is not just a learning process. It’s inspirational for you and others, and it can be a lot of fun. Every time I interview an expert in some form of positive living, I get my own questions answered. Be around what it is you want. Swim in that circle of fish. Learn and grow and teach others what you have gained. There is no greater personal satisfaction than knowing what you have passed on, whether through your personal experience or professional expertise, has helped someone
or changed their life.
The better you are at something and the more you have perfected it, the better position you are in to pass it on to others so that they can then teach what they have most needed to learn. It reminds me of the ebb and flow of the tides which goes in and out in a special rhythm. So as you learn and teach, you are perpetuating this flow and rhythm of life.
You don’t always know who you are affecting. But teaching positive things, things you need to reinforce in your own life and setting the example by teaching them, can have profound results. You are “casting your bread upon the waters.”
John Quincy Adams wrote, “The influence of each human being on others in this life is a kind of immortality.”
by Patricia Raskin
Patricia Raskin, M.Ed., is an award-winning producer and host of “The Patricia Raskin Show” on Saturdays at 4 PM on WPRO, AM630/99.7FM, beginning its ninth year on WPRO. She is also an author, speaker, and coach specializing in change and transition. She is a recipient of the 2015 Rhode Island Small Business Administration Award.