Thursday, October 28, 2010

Mastery - The Master's Journey

Meet the Dabbler, the Obsessive, and the Hacker.

The Dabbler

The Dabbler approaches each new sport, career opportunity, or relationships with enormous enthusiasm. He or she loves the rituals involved in getting started, the spiffy equipment, the lingo, the shine of newness.

When he makes his first squirt of progress in a new sport for example, the Dabbler is overjoyed. He demonstrates his form to family, friends, and people he meets on the street. He can't wait for the next lesson. The fall off from his first peak comes as a shock. The plateau that follows is unacceptable if not incomprehensible. His enthusiasm quickly wanes. He starts missing lessons. His mind fills up with rationalizations. This really isn't the right sport for him. It's too competitive,  noncompetitive, aggressive, boring, dangerous, whatever. He tells everyone that it just doesn't fulfill his unique needs. Starting another sport gives the Dabbler a chance to replay the scenario of starting up. Maybe he'll make it to the second plateau this time, maybe not. Then it's on to something else.

The same thing applies to a career. The Dabbler loves new jobs, new offices, new colleagues. He sees opportunities at every turn. He salivates over projected earnings. He delights in signs of progress, each of which reports to his family and friends. uh oh, there's that plateau again. Maybe this job isn't right for him after all. It's time to start looking around. The Dabbler has a long resume.

In love relationships (perhaps an unexpected place to look for the signs of mastery, but a good one), the Dabbler specializes in honeymoons. He revels in seduction and surrender, the telling of life stories, the display of love's tricks and trappings: the ego on parade. Then the initial ardor starts to cool, he starts looking around. To stay on the path of mastery would mean changing himself. How much easier it is to jump into another bed and start the process all over again. The Dabbler might think of himself as an adventurer, a connoisseur of novelty, but he's probably closer to being what Carl Jung calls the puer aeternus, the eternal kid. Though partners change, he or she stays just the same.

- Mastery, George Leonard 

* This book I am reading is homework for a retreat am going for this weekend. Interesting read I must say but more than anything else, I'm just looking forward to playing the Samurai game !

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

dum dum dee dum, dum dum dee dum

My london trip was awesome. I did a lot of outrageous and fun stuff, among others were:
  1. Spontaneously bought tickets for the musical 'We Will Rock You' based on Queen's musical. Loved, loved, loved it !
  2. Took a stroll down Portobello Road's flea market and swam in the sea of trinkets, antiquities and old books (sigh). Thereafter, shared a hot steaming Chicken Paella (rice cooked in tomato, chicken broth and seasonings - a popular Spanish dish) with my hot London guide... :)
  3. Visited the National Art Gallery and basked in rooms full of beautiful paintings. The one thing that came across my mind was how intricate some of the paintings were and how much time spent and above all preseverence these painters had for their passion. Amazing lah, simply said.
  4. The National Library. Sighhhhhhhh. They were displaying original manuscripts by great writers and musicians like Jane Austen, Mozart, Handell etc. etc. My favourite has to be Jane Austen's writing desk that was recently donated by her great-great-great-grand niece. There was also a whole stretch of Lewis Carrol's work on Alice's Adventure Underground (i.e. Alice's Adventure in Wonderland). Having just recently finished reading his book, I was of course thrilled to read about the history and making of this amusing story about a young girl and her somewhat of-the-wall adventure in where else but Wonderland! As I was slowly scrolling and scrutinising the pages of the original manuscript and the diary of the author, an older middle-aged gentleman, standing next to me, suddenly whispered, "Read this page here -- it was when he decided to publish the story. I've never seen this before. It's just fantastic!". He smiled excitingly and walked away. Oh, I just loved how the energy at that moment just completely shifted - even if it was only for a brief period of time.
To London, I heart you.
To my hot and sexy guide, I heart you even more!