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  • James McPartland



"You are the only teacher that you will ever have."

James McPartland

When you think about what you have learned, and what you can easily recall from your life, there was likely a subject of intense interest or a highly emotional experience involved that easily triggers your memory. The subject could have been an academic or professional requirement to advance your career, whereby the emotional experience could be the joyous birth of a child or devastation of an accident or a loss. In either case, and no matter who else was involved, it was you and you alone that gave meaning to the topic or to the event.

While we will meet many instructors and guides, as well as take courses, read books, and navigate the road of life, it is our choice as to what we take and take hold of from all of it. We decide what we want to learn and some of that decision making is at the subconscious level. Looking forward as you think about what you want for your life, there are undoubtedly things that you will have to learn. While you may be influenced by coaches, bosses, family, or personal dreams, it is you who chooses what specific skills or knowledge that you need to acquire. To that end, it is you who decides on who will provide the course work that you feel will equip you to create the future you desire. With a commitment to learn, backed by a strong why, you teach yourself based on the material made available to you.

Lastly, there will continue to be lessons that come from unexpected places. In particular, from the setbacks. Most people agree that one of the best ways to learn is by making mistakes. However, the great majority of us work hard at not making mistakes. Failure is only failure if we do not learn and apply the lesson that is available to us, by not getting back up when we have been knocked down. The great gift of life comes from experiencing all that life has to offer, to let life touch us and to acquire the lessons that we need to learn. As a guide, we can become a source for others who are seeking to learn what it is that they need to teach themselves. It is a key part of the job description for a responsible and inspiring human being.

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