life is not a cliché

16 what you are capable of

‘As a mirror held up to ourselves, in loco parentis is both an inspiring and unsettling image of fatherhood: the guild master had a clear role as a father figure, one that expanded a child’s horizons beyond the accidents of birth.’*

I am not holding some romantic view of the medieval practice of surrogate parenting involved in an apprentice learning the skills of their trade, but there is something excitingly hopeful about the influence and inspiration a person can bring to another that witnesses horizons being expanded.

We’re living in a time of great choice in learning and work, one that has the potential to even blur the line between employment and the rest of our lives.  Herein lies the problem faced by many today: What to do?  More choice leads to less choosing:

‘But having too many choices does not produce liberation; it produces paralysis.’**

Part of the problem is that we believe choice means easy.

I think people are amazing, but my message is not “You’re amazing.  You can do anything you want. Name it and claim it.”

There’s a lot of this kind of noise being today:

‘An adage worth repeating is also halfway to being irrelevant.  You end up with something that is easy to say but not connected to behaviour.’^

Choosing what we want and must do with our lives is hard: it’s hard to know, hard to embed, and hard to act upon.  Practice, focus, fail, starter, but it’s not impossible.

Now we have some hope.

(*From Richard Sennett’s The Craftsman.)
(**From John Ortberg’s All the Places.)
(^From Ed Catmull’s Creativity, Inc..)


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