Friday, November 05, 2010

craftsmanship

We all admire people with charisma, confidence and 'the x-factor'. Big personality and little effort win the day. Celebrity is most desirable. Many of our industries rely on marketing and PR departments because the actual content of what they're offering doesn't matter: if they can persuade people to buy it, they're successful.


If I'm not immediately good at a task (or able to appear so) I am tempted to give up. I assume the 'right' places for me to be in life are those where from the outset I feel confident, get admiration and have no need for being the stranger, for tuition, for practice and discipline.

Craftsmanship is unfashionable. That is, real mastery of a skill, situation, area of expertise, relationship or sense of community. It can only be achieved by trying over and over and waiting and failing and persisting. All the while learning from others who're further advanced. And few of us have patience with that.

I'd like to really get to know the people around me properly. And to develop the infant skills I have so I can be my most effective. But am I willing to listen to others, and be a novice and fall over a few times in the process? I hope so. I think that is the way forward. Whatever Simon Cowell and Alan Sugar may have to say about it.

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