Learning from: who and what?

I used to believe that I only learned in school. How wrong that thought was! Luckily, Shihan Arakaki of Musokai Karate taught me a valuable lesson: he learns from everyone. I was quite surprised when he told me that. Here he was, the world’s renown karate master and the best martial artist, and he was telling me that he learned from everyone, from a small kid to an elder, from the homeless to the richest, from the  uneducated to the most educated…. I started adopting this same attitude to learn from everyone and my whole world changed.

It’s 7pm in Los Angeles. It’s getting darker outside. Wanted a shiny car, I went to wash it. The car wash was as usual. I learned earlier from a fellow at the car wash that drying the car by a towel would make the car look great. So as I had done before, I parked my washed car and started drying it with a towel.

My entire focus was on drying the car. Then suddenly a loud voice to my ear: “hey, what kind of towels are you using?”. I stopped and saw a gentleman who was drying his car next to mine.

“I am using this towel, a normal one.” I told him.

“You got to use a different towel. Your towel will scratch your car overtime. Here, use mine. It’s 100% fiber.” Julian, the gentleman’s name, said to me and then gave me several of his fiber towels.

Not stopping there, he asked me if I knew how to use it. I honestly said I did not. He went to a great length and effort to show me how to use the fiber towel properly. The fiber surface is used for polishing and the other surface is for drying. He hold two towels in two hands and showed me how to dry my car like a pro. He then gave me all information about what kind of towels I should get, where I can get them, and how to wash them after each use.

It was just amazing to see the different result of drying my car using his way. I immediately put it to practice and got a sparkling car afterward.

Julian and I chatted for awhile while we dried our cars. I thanked him for helping me and being so kind. He said that he’s trying to make the world a better place by helping everyone he can and that he learned from everyone else and shared what he learned to anyone who might benefit from it. He went on saying that everyone is his teacher so he should be kind to everyone. Now that was amazing. Then he told me he helped many people, became friends with them, and they in turn helped him back in many different ways. Those he helped might not help him back later but they would tell their friends that “Julian is a good guy”. Overtime he would develop a reputation of being a good guy. Julian then told me about the law of attraction (he did not know the name of the law though) and how we attract people into our lives. By doing good and being kind to others, we attract good and kindness to our lives.

The story did not stop with Julian. Overhearing our conversation, a gentleman named Dan next to our car came by and after a short exchange started showing me how to wax my car in a proper way. His car was a sparkling black Charger. Dan asked if I knew about waxing and how to use it. I did not know so told him so. He took out his favorite wax and towel. He applied it to my car. The result was just speechless. The place he applied wax on was shiny and polished. He then showed me the brand and where I could get it. He also taught me how to use wax, how to polish my car with the fiber towel after waxing, and where I should apply it.

In a short period of time, we formed a mastermind with three of us. Julian shared with Dan and me his methods of cleaning, polishing. Dan shared with us his methods of waxing. I was the connector and benefited from their knowledge. They exchanged their favorite brands.

As I opened my mind to those around me, they opened their minds to me. I learned great lessons about car wash, law of attraction, and building friendship wherever I go. As Shihan taught, we can learn from everyone around us.


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