If you want to be good – in whatever you do – you need to have great mentors. You need people who have the experience, the knowledge, and the wisdom to endow upon you. And that’s no different from becoming great in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu; your coach/instructor/professor is the most important window into the Gentle Art.
Brian Glick knows this all too well. Often dubbed as one of John Danaher‘s top black belts, he’s been training under Danaher for over 20 years. In a recent Instagram post, Brian shared what his relationship with John means to him:
Higher standards: my relationship with my teacher goes beyond words. As a commitment I make, it’s a source of power, guidance and direction – one I continue to benefit from over 20 years since it began. And I think my peers feel the same way.
We’re united in our reverence and gratitude for a teacher who’s given so much for so long. As a student, the sooner you can find someone who pushes you right to the edge of your ability to be excellent, the better.
Brian went on to explain the importance of having someone push you in the right direction, as well as to push you outside of your comfort zone… And why you need to become a good pupil yourself:
Our expectations for ourselves start to change when we see just how far we can go. But working with a mentor goes beyond just inspiration, because a spark has to land on something that can actually catch fire.
Teachers and partners can be the stimulus but to really ignite, you have to be open enough to adjust your approach AS A PUPIL. You have to be willing to ask the questions and then listen to the answers; to learn from your mistakes and other people’s examples.
Finding people to keep you to a high standard is much more work than “going with the flow”. Your present setup of friends, associates and even teachers may let you do mediocre work, when and where and how you want. Adjusting up takes effort and discipline.
What would it take for you to ask someone to raise their standards for you? We need teachers, peers, partners, mentors who drive us OUT of our comfort zone – not INTO it. The tradeoff is comfort in exchange for real change and growth, and the payoff is huge.
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