The other day I saw a video of a jazz\fusion drummer who is an absolute machine. It put me in awe and wonder of someone who is a total monster at dominating one thing. I know nothing really of the guy, so not saying he’s not good at anything else, but noting that this guy is a world class drummer, and that’s what he’s known for. It’s made me think of myself and my seeming inability to get hyper-focused on one thing. And not just being focused on that thing for a bit (I seem to be good at that), but to be FULLY engrossed in it, for the long haul. Naturally my mind begin to assemble a list. Not surprisingly, much like my list of past motorcycles….the list grew and grew and grew.
I’ve scratched my head on this quite a bit. I’ve wondered what is it in my head that hasn’t allowed me to just totally lock in with any one thing. I realize hindsight is 20\20, and find it easy to go “if I just committed to any one of these things” and wondered what it’d be like. I realize that’s a bit of a fantasy game to play and it’s not good to obsess on the past. Yet I’ve had this thought in my head before and I think, how do I change future behavior to really lock in to something.
Despite constantly thinking of how to change this, or alter it. Maybe I embrace it? Again, circling back to Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, Pirsig brings up the Greek concept of Arete, which as I understood from the book that excellence in life is to be knowledgeable in all things. Reading further into the concept, it may be a more broad term, but it does make me think about this on a broader scope. Obviously in our current day, where you can have a specialist of any kind be out to help you at a quick call\email, there I think is something to be said for those that can handle whatever curve balls may be pitched your way.
As I grapple through this like an Olympian may have, I guess I’m taking some comfort in the idea of not being a specialized expert in any one thing. That’s not to say that I don’t want to still focus some aspects of myself in, but no sense in denying what my core self is, or attempting to force some major change. Which again, circles back to the Zen book, where the (spoiler alert?) author notes to stop trying to be 2 people (his literal former self, and his post shock treatment self). While I’m not 2 personalities trying to reconcile, but if I’m trying to force some major change, I’m not being true to my inner self, and likely is stopping me from excelling in all things I do.
Or just maybe too deep for today.