I’d like to share an embarrassing story with you. In my early thirties, I thought I was one of the best harmonica players in the world. I really did! After all, I was imitating some of the best players so obviously, I was just as talented.
Then I decided that I wanted to BE the best, so I bought some CDs and started imitating more players. However, after listening to more artists with some amazing gifts, I was suddenly struck with a realization that not only was I not in the top tier of best players in the world, but I wasn’t even on the bottom rung of a very tall ladder of talent and skill.
I felt disheartened to learn that I had such a long way to go. I was also really embarrassed for having believed I was some sort of spectacular player all that time when in fact, I was just an amateur with a large ego.
My ego collapsed that day.
I came to the conclusion that I was merely a fledgling, and I would need to practice my butt off if I was ever going to rise up to the quality of those I considered even mediocre players.
This crushing blow was exactly what I needed to get me into a healthy, humble space. Have you ever been hit with a realization so hard that, from that day forward, you were a different person with an entirely different perspective?
This is enlightenment. Or at least one of the paths to enlightenment. It’s when your beliefs and perceptions are shattered and a world previously unseen comes into view.
It’s getting out of the box of:
and stepping into the box of,
“I will always have more to learn and will never know it all”
You don’t have to get your ego crushed to reach enlightenment (thankfully) but it is one way to do so, if that is even a goal of yours.
There is always more to learn.
This is a great philosophy to live by. It keeps you humble, which typically keeps you honest. I don’t know how many times I chose to stay attached to being right instead of just being humble. Staying humble keeps you open to all ideas, not just the ones you’re attached to.
Sometimes your world has to collapse so that you will reach a new plateau of learning and growth. It’s usually not pleasant, but it’s always powerful. What you take from it will determine where you end up in life.