Few people do well in life when they try to live by the credo “My Way or the Highway.” And, arguably, doing “well” by this precept could include only parochial or narrow experience.
Those who, instead, choose a life rich with experience and learning will take a different route. World travelers are a good example. They understand that dynamic and cosmopolitan experience is often led by a someone else’s perspective, a sort of “Their Way is the Highway” position on experiencing and learning.
My time travelling and living abroad was best when I opened myself to other ways of doing things. And working with thousands of international teachers has affirmed for me that people gain much more from an experience when they relax their own predispositions and try to fully immerse themselves in new perspectives, lifestyles or day-to-day practices.
If I were to package “Their Way is the Highway” into 3 key insights, I’d say the following are most instructive:
I suppose it’s important to note that blindly following any other person’s or any other people’s instructions is not always safe. Of course, choosing the person or people from whom a new experience can be gained must involve one’s own best judgment, the input of trusted family/friends and others “in the know” before we open ourselves to new experience.
Some of you know the American actor Shia LaBeouf. He recently completed his “#takemeanywhere” project, which involved posting his current location on social media and then accepting any travel experience from strangers who first arrived at his location. That version of “Their Way is the Highway” is not exactly the approach I would want my own son to take. But, the underlying principle is there. As LaBeouf put it, “I go from self-examination, to self-love, to people-love, and, so, it’s really joyful on the other side of these projects.”
- Jordan DeCoste is Regional Manager, North America, and Learning Systems Manger, Global at Edvectus and he is based in Toronto, Canada.