Have you learned anything new lately? If so, was it intentional or one of those life lessons that seem to pop up endlessly? You know the ones!
Maybe it’s because I’m 70 ½ ("It would help not to treat age as if it were any less of a pleasure than it was when we were six and saying, 'I'm six and a half.' You know, we could be saying, 'I'm fifty and a half' and say it with joy. Each age is different and has different discoveries and pleasures." Gloria Steinem) or because Mercury is in retrograde or because the sky is blue but, for whatever reason, I’ve recently found myself uncommonly thirsty for knowledge. I pride myself in always being open to learning and change, as I mentioned in the previous newsletter; however, this has been different. I’ve signed up and—listen to this—followed through with some new classes and tutoring. They’ve been exciting and profoundly satisfying. One has been particularly meaningful to me.
I’ve taken Spanish language lessons on and off for decades and I’m still not conversational in it. It breaks my heart because Spanish holds a special place in my inner child’s heart. From the time I was 6 weeks old until I was 2 ½, I lived in Cuba. As I learned to speak, it was Spanish I spoke, more than English. Unfortunately, when we moved to Las Vegas, my mother couldn’t find anyone to continue developing that skill for me. I have a long-held fantasy that when I finally get to visit Cuba (my trip for my birthday last year was derailed by Covid), as soon as my feet feel the land of that sacred childhood experience, I’ll blurt out full conversations in the language of my dreams. Please don’t rain on my parade with reality! In lieu of that miracle, I desperately want to learn to speak Spanish so I can converse with my many Spanish-speaking friends and so that I feel more at home when I finally make trips to Cuba, Spain, Costa Rica and Mexico.
Something is different this time. I’m doing the work. I stopped hoping I’d get results magically. I’m listening to my tutor; I’m practicing daily in the way he recommends; and, I’m fully engaging during each session. One reason there’s a difference is because the instructor cared enough to ask why I thought I hadn’t committed 100% previously. He listened and tweaked the way he usually presents the information to compensate for what wasn’t working for my style of learning. He heard me when I said I need energy around me to write or study, and that I struggle to do that when I’m alone…and that can be a problem since I live alone. To work around that need, we increased our Zoom sessions and decreased what was expected of me doing work independently. Guess what happened? I found myself wanting to study more even though I was alone, or I would make the effort to go somewhere that I could feel the energy I needed. Isn’t it amazing how our excuses and expectations change when we’re ready? While I have a lot of practicing to do before engaging in conversations with friends in my new language, I’ve improved more than I ever did with my many past efforts.
There’s been an added benefit to this experience, too. My instructor has modeled behavior that has made me a better coach. It’s made me acutely aware of what a difference I can make by slightly changing the curriculum for my students who have various learning styles. We, as coaches, can’t force someone to commit to learning, but we can certainly share all the tools possible, so the student is supported in a way that works for that individual when they are ready to put in the work.
Estoy lista! I’m ready! What are you ready to learn?
President, The Zen Speaker
NEW! Supportive Coaching with Amy Ayoub
Because this method of coaching has propelled me forward this past year in the areas I’ve been concentrating on in my life, I’m offering it to those of you who have been wanting a consistent, yet less intense, coaching opportunity with me.
Of course, we can work on writing and delivering speeches, but I’m also offering my life and business coaching experience in this package. You may want to follow the example of some of my recent clients and let me support you in a personal strategic planning process using the mind-mapping method I use to create speeches. It’s creative, fun and effective.
Join me for this year long coaching—or give yourself the gift of 4 months to see how it benefits you—and watch the quantum leaps you take toward the life of your dreams!