you love more, you win

26 you're a absolute amateur

These are “Ahmad’s” words; he lost everything, including his restaurant, in an Israeli airstrike on Beirut in 2006.  Now forced to work in someone else’s restaurant, he’d just been asked if he was bitter and angry at someone.*

He repeated his reply in his broken English, “You love more, you win.”

If he’s right then maybe we can turn this around: You love less, you lose?

I don’t want to cheapen the context in which these words were spoken, but I think Ahmad is right on many levels.  Ahmad is grasping the beauty of the infinite game: to include as many as possible, to keep the game open-ended (who knows where it will take us … and then more), and when the rules threaten to exclude or end the game, change them.

To love more, is to be able to love more, is to be able to love more.

We’re in need of open-ended games or journeys or story to know more of what we are capable of, and capable of together.  Since learning of the Johari window‘s fourth “window-pane” (“Pane 1” – What I know about myself and like to reveal to others; “Pane 2” – What I know about myself but conceal from others; “Pane 3” – What I don’t know about myself but others do know) has intrigued me: What I don’t know about myself and others also don’t know.  I’m wondering whether these things only begin to emerge through the unfamiliar and the stranger – liminal people and places in which we help and support each other to discover more about one another and ourselves (including our future Self) more – everyone is blind to something about themselves.

Our means of venturing into this unknown is often what we love.  Here, though, I don’t want to do wrong by Ahmad, but to do more of what you love is to win.

Amateur is French for lover, Austin Kleon‘s definition fitting really well in our infinite game: ‘Because they have little to lose, amateurs are willing to try anything and share the results (David Weinberger comments, ‘The new abundance makes the old abundance look like scarcity’).  Amateurs (meaning lovers) are delivering more creatively than professionals (think Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, and the Homebrew Computer Club over IBM, or my friend Julie Dodsworth over Royal Doulton, or BrewLab over Starbucks).

There has never been a better time for you to pursue what you love.**  Leah Robb’s triangle theory of art suggests craftsmanship, substance, and innovation are important elements for delivering great art – and they’re all available to the amateur in just about any field.  The means to develop skills, to connect with others, to deliver what we create has never been so available as now, and everything suggests these will only increase.

The shortage is in people willing to do it.  To
take a leap. To walk onto the ledge and start.

You love more, you win, as Ahmad said.

(*”Ahmad” also works as a loan officer with Al Majmoua (“the Group”), a partner organisation with micro finance charity Kiva, seeking to help rebuild the lives of others whilst also rebuilding his own.)
(** There are many things which the amateur probably is not able to pursue easily: you’re not going to pursue your ideas about the Higgs Boson without access to the Large Hadron Collidor.)

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