This morning’s contribution to the table at Chez Anton. Hugely inspiring weekend at #ardv17 !
“What would you attempt to do if you knew you could not fail”
If you dream of something worth doing and then simply go to work on it and don’t think anything of personalities, or emotional conflicts, or of money, or of family distractions; if you just think of, detail by detail, what you have to do next, it is a wonderful dream even if the end is a long way off, for there are about five thousand steps to be taken before we realize it; and start making the first ten, and stay making twenty after, it is amazing how quickly you get through those five thousand steps.
We love these flawed superheroes, because it makes them relatable, vulnerable, and REAL. It gives them an identity; as readers of comics or viewers of a movie, we get to look inside these people and know that they feel real pain too, and we see parts of ourselves in them. … Why, then, don’t we do this with our real-life heroes and ourselves?
As long as there is one upright man, as long as there is one compassionate woman, the contagion may spread and the scene is not desolate.
~ E. B. White
The two key fears are the fears of uncertainty and not being good enough, and in my experience, they’re both the same thing. We’re afraid of the uncertain future (and uncertain situations) because we don’t think we’re good enough to handle whatever might come out of the chaos.
If one felt that this were true, what might one do unlearn such fear? As usual, Leo has a considered opinion spoken from the position of experience.
One guy is always happy to see me. I don’t mean well-duh-that’s-obvious happy, the way say, my mom is always happy to see me; I mean, just outright happy, twinkle-in-the-eye, “Hey there you great lug!” sort of way. This fellow gives automobile-crash hugs– WHACK and you fall over into him. His aren’t “A-frame”, I’m-hugging-but-no-actually-i’m-not hugs. I think I could back over his dog — he doesn’t actually have a dog, and I’ve never backed over ANYONE’s dog — and he would STILL be happy to see me. Consequently, it is IMPOSSIBLE to not feel better after receiving one of these greetings. It is not just me which receives this treatment. The world is a better place every time someone gets a crash-test-dummy hug like that from him.
The second guy is a Gentleman. This is a highly-intelligent, engineering-degree-from-respected-University… he knows there’s evil, and people do bad things, etc… AND he’s such an impeccably, unwaiveringly, decent soul. I have never heard him curse, or even speak ill of anyone. In fact, I have NEVER heard him even raise his voice. This is not hyperbole; I’ve known this guy decades. In fact, having talked to others who know him, no one ELSE has ever heard him raise his voice, curse, speak ill or generally be anything other than pleasant and polite. His composure rises above “great self control”, to the level of — well… honestly, I’ve no idea. I just wander around my life, thinking — how the F*** does he do that?!
(Alas, one of them recently died, and the world is a little bit poorer for it.)
These two men were best friends for — my guess here — 70+ years. One of them married the other’s sister, which as far as I can tell, only made them better friends.
I suspect that none of the above is coincidence . . .
My biggest struggle has been trying to live up to my own words and beliefs. I can’t just write this stuff and not do it. I can’t be that kind of hypocrite. I can’t tell people to go out and push themselves if I’m not willing to do it myself.
And now, somehow, a decade has elapsed.
Because I believe that our becoming, like the synthesis of meaning itself, is an ongoing and dynamic process, I’ve been reluctant to stultify it and flatten its ongoing expansiveness in static opinions and fixed personal tenets of living. But I do find myself continually discovering, then returning to, certain core values. While they may be refined and enriched in the act of living, their elemental substance remains a center of gravity for what I experience as myself.
Maria Popova’s site “Brain Pickings” is one of the true delights of the Internet. Take a few minutes to click over and see.
To train successfully, you must be willing to sacrifice portions of your present self-concept to a future, higher version of the self created by your ego. It is your ego, god-like, that is initiating and driving the process of self-transformation and becoming. This process requires you to exchange something you have for something you want. Nothing worth anything is truly free, and everything worth having requires some kind of sacrifice.
Instead of “killing your ego” — instead of fighting yourself — approach training as a sacrifice of a part of yourself to a higher self.