Last week I blogged about the myths of ‘Talent’, ‘Mastery’, ‘Gurus’ and ‘Ideal Partners’ so I figured it would only be fair to blog about the realities this week. Here’s my take…
Writing powerfully is no mystery. There are simple strategies for overcoming writer’s block that all tackle the core issue: an over-zealous internal editor, often masquerading as a critic. When we trust and accept what we’re writing, our writing flows. That might seem to be an over-simplification, but it’s absolutely true. The proof is in the pudding of application. If you dedicate yourself to practising trust and kindness, your words will flow.
The same dedication is required to produce good writing. ‘Talent’ is not a mysterious gift of the gods; it’s not a case of being lucky or destined. ‘Talent’ is about skill, pure and simple. The people who demonstrate it have been applying themselves longer or more diligently or with greater attention than most. They apply themselves because they enjoy the activity itself; they love the practice of it as much as the results so they persist through the painful learning stage. They stay in the game, developing greater and greater levels of skill.
Good writing is the simple outcome of packing your prose with sensory-specific detail and action. If you do that, your writing will sing. If you lapse into generalisations and abstractions, your reader will begin to snooze. A simple example is the statement, ‘She was angry’. Written like that, it’s a boring, static, statement of fact. But if we bring it to life by showing how we know that the character is angry – ‘Her face reddened. She reached across and slapped him ’ – now we have a story. We know she is angry rather than having to take the writer’s word for it.
Inside the word ‘SHOW’ is the word ‘HOW’. Ask yourself how you know something is so, and then show it, and your writing will sizzle. The same applies if you want to give an impactful presentation. Scour your speech for vagueness and eliminate all such phrases! Make sure that your audience can see, hear, feel, small, taste, ‘touch’ what you are talking about. The shortcut to a powerful presentation is concrete detail; the shortcut to a distracted or daydreaming audience is generalisations and abstractions.
Mastery & Gurus
My last blog acknowledged that mastery is a process and that gurus are human too. Those are the realities. The true master is the one who keeps picking herself/himself up and starting again. There are lots of great posters on Facebook and Pinterest etc. proclaiming that exact principle.
Last Tuesday, when I was talking about things I was doing to market myself, I was suddenly struck by the realisation that I’ve been keeping track of the various delays and disappointments more diligently than my achievements and little milestones. Tut tut… I realised that I am out there walking my talk and persistently applying myself to my purpose and mission even though doors appear to be closing in my face. The fact that I’m persevering counts for a lot!
It really doesn’t serve us to only take note of our 'failures'. In fact, it occurred to me that if I was coaching a Mastery Club student, I’d be cheering his or her many small successes rather than discounting them and looking for the big win. Duh? So why not do that with me as well? It was a good wake-up call.
For some 10 yrs my primary relationship was ‘stuck’. Why was it stuck? Because I was creating that.
When I first learned about NLP in the 80s I was struck by the following: a client would describe some undesired behaviour and the practitioner would ask, ‘So how are you doing that?’ In other words, no behaviour comes out of the clear blue sky; if we are experiencing undesirable results in our life, we only need to track backwards to what we have been doing, thinking, saying, feeling, etc.
So how was I creating a stuck relationship? By talking negatively about it, by dwelling on my partner’s perceived faults and inadequacies, by affirming our lack of ability to create change, by looking for greener grass… As soon as I focused on what worked, on his strengths, on our potential, on the ‘good things’, I saw him completely differently, felt differently about him, related differently, and began to feel more optimistic about our future together. I also began to apply ye old principle of the mirror: whatever you see ‘out there’ is a reflection of what is ‘in here’.
Nowadays whenever I get cross with him or critical of him, within seconds I can see where I do it too or how him doing it serves me, and I’m able to get off my judgement immediately. Voilà: perfect relationship…
Caroline Myss makes the thought-provoking observation that once we are calibrated to a higher spiritual truth we can’t go back; we can no longer live in ignorant bliss; we have rights and responsibilities.
Welcome to the Realities!