I am aware that the title of this piece makes a Bold Claim.
Fear not, it shall deliver.
Whatever you are talking about, whether it be: creating a piece of art, building a global community, mastering a disparate skill, learning a language, cultivating a loving relationship, raising a child, healing one of the world’s ills, or learning how to ride a stunt goat, the underlying principles are the same. Common threads run thru all these things, and many more.
In this post, I’ll show you what they are…
Let’s get real for a moment.
‘Talent’ by itself is worth next to nothing. There are talented people living on the street and eating out of garbage cans right now. The same is true for passion. You can be as passionate as you want about something, until it is time to pay rent.
Talent and passion are dwarfed into extinction, beaten hogwild, and trumped beyond measure every single time by doing The Work.
What does ‘doing The Work’ mean?
It means: giving the thing of your choice, your focus, and your love, over time.
Now let me be really, really clear When I say Focus I mean: one-pointed quality attention. You can *work* at something for 24 hours a day but, if your mind is forever wandering wandering wandering, all that time spent will probably amount to a big fat nada. Focus means giving whatever you are doing your best energy, your absolute best self. And, as well as your focus…
You have to Love whatever it is that you are doing. You must love it so hard that fetishing it daily, coming back again, and again, and again to pour your very life into it, is a joyous act for you. Simply wanting the end result does not cut it. You have to love the process of the work. Without this love it would be very hard, if not impossible to sustain something over…
Things grow organically. It is a law of nature. Before you plant the seed, the soil must be prepared. When the seed has been planted it must be tended and watered daily. If the fruit is not eaten it will go to waste. Some of these things can be sped up, others cannot be rushed.
Which brings us to an important point.
I don’t believe ‘you can become great at absolutely everything’, and I don’t believe ‘you can have it all’. Focus and time are finite resources. ‘Selection’ (meaning: making the core choices about where to spend your time and energy) is an art. If you are truly focusing on one thing then you are, by definition, cutting off everything else. Therefore: the amount of things you can build, create, and master are also finite.
This is not a bad thing.
Why? Because with this realization comes the knowledge that: decisions must be taken and sacrifices must be made in terms of where you spend your time. There is freedom, joy, and liberation in the making of these choices.
You don’t have to take my word for it, try it for yourself. Choose your work. Fetish it with your focus and love over time.
See what happens.
My name is James Radcliffe and I am a 100% audience supported independent artist. If you like what I do (and can afford it) then please consider buying some of my music. Each purchase really makes a big difference to me and 10% of every sale goes to a charity which: houses, feeds, clothes, and educates orphaned children in Nepal.
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