X for Xerox

8:01:00 PM

A relationship is like a bridge that connects two people to each other. A bridge cannot exist if the points are not strong in themselves. All the previous 23 values we’ve been looking at how to build strong relationships with others. This post and the next is how we build ourselves. Building ourselves helps us in building strong relationships with others.

“For many years Monterey, a California coast town, was a pelican's paradise. As the fishermen cleaned their fish, they flung the offal to the pelicans. The birds grew fat, lazy, and contented. Eventually, however the offal was utilized, and there were no longer snacks for the pelicans. When the change came the pelicans made no effort to fish for themselves. They waited around and grew gaunt and thin. Many starved to death. They had forgotten how to fish for themselves. The problem was solved by importing new pelicans from the south, birds accustomed to foraging for themselves. They were placed among their starving cousins, and the newcomers immediately started catching fish. Before long, the hungry pelicans followed suit, and the famine was ended.” – Taken from Bits & Pieces, June 23, 1994, p. 17. 


Recently I got into conversation with someone who regularly read my blogs. They told me that the values that I have been writing are great but found some of them quite difficult to implement. I simply told them to find someone who does it well and Xerox it from them.

Irish writer and poet Oscar Wilde once said, “Education is an admirable thing, but it is well to remember from time to time that nothing that is worth knowing can be taught.”

Nothing worth knowing can be taught but it definitely can be caught. When we find people who excel in certain values in their lives and look and model them, overtime those values become a part of us.
If we were to evaluate every area of our lives, some of the best things we do today are as a result of learning it from someone who did it well. We build stronger relationships with others when we relate to those who are good at building relationships. When we identify the area that we are weak at and find and model someone who’s good at it; overtime we become good at it.

Too many people attribute their poor behavior to others around them: “I did it because I've seen him/her do it.” “If he/she can do and get away with it then why can't I?” “He/she did the same, you didn't tell them anything!” Sounds familiar? We have often said these as kids, haven't we?

In his book, “The Next Generation Leader”, Andy Stanley writes, “We have a tendency to measure ourselves against people around us. They become our point of reference.”

This is why we need someone who is good at the values we want to develop: so that our references are always worthy of emulating from.

Take Away Principle: If there are values that we find difficult to incorporate into our lives, we need to find someone who is good at it and model from them.

Tips on Xeroxing:
1.      Identify those values that we find difficult to implement.
2.      Find someone who does it well.
3.      Ask them if they would take time to teach you.
4.      Spend time with them watching and learning how and when they do it.

5.      Emulate them and slowly make those values a part of you.

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  1. The idea that stayed with me is having a mentor or a person you admire whom you can look up to. Love the way you worked in 'Xerox' for the A-Z part !

  2. Sharing, learning and caring is the essence, isn't it !! Lovely xerox, there, Danny :) I thought you would go for something like excellence, but you made it even more beautiful by insisiting on the importance of imbibing the values from someone who has grasped them perfectly !!

  3. Very inspiring post. How correctly you have reiterated that we can learn good values by following a person who possesses these virtues.

  4. A very good post, Danny. Liked how you used the meaning of Xerox here. Following an example who we can admire and look up to is always more effective than trying to learn by theory.

  5. What a lovely post, Danny! Loved it!! "Nothing worth knowing can be taught but it definitely can be caught'... this is soooo true!! It is something like bench-marking. 'If she can do it, I can do it too'!! This can be applied to all things which we are scared of doing, or find it difficult to implement etc!

  6. "Nothing worth knowing can be taught but it definitely can be caught." Very well put!

    I would go with tips 1, 2, 4 and 5. I would change 3 to "Ask yourself if you are willing to put in the time and effort to learn from them."

  7. Absolutely.Historically,most succesful men/women have always followed those who they looked upto.


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