“You can’t teach an old dog new tricks,” said the Dalai Lama, but he did offer a useful distinction between training and training.
Training is the conscious use of your mind to do something as an example. It is the act of seeking something more, better, stronger or more refined. Training is the act of practicing something to reach a goal. So the Dalai Lama’s point is that you can’t train someone who doesn’t like to be trained.
This is one in between point that keeps people from being successful. This is where most people have a hard time understanding the Dalai Lama. Most people think the best way to develop talent is to train them. This is not the best way. To make someone better they need to be asked. And to ask is to learn. The worst, I think, is when people fail to listen to someone because they don’t want to know. When we know what they want to do, we can be a guiding light and help them to do it. Telling the truth is one of the hardest things to do. But it is a great gift when we do it well. I try to tell people the truth they need to hear with as much tact and sensitivity as possible. Most people want to be told exactly what they want to hear.
And unfortunately, in our culture, there are many who, while they really want to hear it are scared to be told what they don’t want to hear, and feel compelled to fight you. But this only makes the communication more difficult and the relationship suffers. I tell people the truth even when I don’t feel it’s the truth, and it makes me feel like I’m speaking to a wall. Sometimes that wall is really just fear, but other times it’s anger, sadness, disappointment.