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Saturday, January 27, 2018

You Can Tell a Mastercraftsman by What?

The question I have been playing with lately....is how does one identify someone who is at the top of their game? 

You can tell a Mastercraftsman by what? By how he/she treats their tools.

Today, I just want to talk about our tools of MASTERY....yours and mine.

How to focus 101.
  Isolate your tools.

A writer knows which format they prefer to write it...which keyboard clicks more smoothly and which room they prefer to be in when they write. Tim Ferriss (  ya ya.... I know I quote him so very often)  likes to be very specific about how he orders his writing posture, his beverages, his background visuals, his audio background, and his computer system set up. He knows that his mind is prone to wander, just like the rest of us....but he has "mastered" his "monkey brain" to a certain degree to know how to get himself into the "zone" that is optimal for his writings to flow most freely.

As a teen, I recall visiting an artist in her residence. She had carved out a lifestyle that was quickening and pioneering in the small community in which I grew up. Being a somewhat abstract painter in a conservation dutch community is no task for the faint of heart. But not only was this classy lady rising, she was doing so in what appeared to be a most peaceful and gracious flow.

Anyway, back to her tools. I recall how she showed us her paintbrushes.....which ones were made from horse hair etc. These tools were handled gently and with great respect. If my memory serves, her home was designed in such a way as to allow her ample lighted space pouring into her studio from which she produced her masterpieces. She and her family members revered her work space and yes....her tools.

I have never seen a Master at work who was careless with his or her tools. A shirtmaker I once worked for kept his tools stored with precision. He guarded his tools like a bulldog defends a raw steak, fiercely and without question. Anyone brave enough to borrow a tool from this particular Master knew that he/she had to put it precisely back into the exact same space and position it was in when he/she first touched it. He was known internationally for his skill and precision. A MASTER must always know exactly WHERE his tools are.

So, instead of rambling on about a plethora of Masters I have studied and try to learn from.. I want to challenge you today with the following three very blunt questions:

Number 1: What are you aiming to MASTER? Write it here: .......................

Number 2: What are your top five tools required for mastery? What could those tools be or what are they now?1....................
                2 ...................
                3...................
                4...................
                5 ..................

Number 3. Where do you keep those top 5 tools? Are they secure? Consistently in the same spot?
.............................................................................................................................................................
.............................................................................................................................................................
The answers to those questions will help you understand your own path to Mastery a wee bit better.
If your "tools" of choice, are scattered all over your home, in hard to find or dusty places.... how focused are you really on becoming a Master?

Or perhaps, in thinking through your list of fave tools ...you begin to remember how you loaned your favorite tool to your cousin or an old friend. Maybe it's time to get it back where it belongs. Maybe it's time to re-build your MASTERY tool chest.

Your tool of choice, may be a laptop that has a virus plaguing it....and is, therefore, lying dormant under your bed. It's time to get that laptop de-bugged. Your tool of choice may be a set of knitting needles ...one of a pair which has gone M.I.A. Time to visit yur fave knitting needle shop....or shop online to replace one.

Maybe the weights you use to carve out those athlete level muscles have rolled under the couch....roll them back out. They are your tools.
Your path to Mastery has  a path and on that path are quality tools.

A Chest of tools. Respect the tools, Respect the chest, the place to rest and protect your tools. Maybe your chest of tools needs a new lock to "seal the deal"  to your revitalized commitment to Mastery.

The path to Mastery is not a static line..... It ebbs and flows. There will be times when you need to remind yourself of what you are aiming for.....and aim again.Aim Again today and empower yourself with quality tools that you keep close and secure.

May God bless you as you move towards your goals.

In peaceful productivity,
Carla.




Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Thought Life....book life

One can not talk anything meaningful about one's thought life without discussing their
book life.

What is a book life? Well, the books you surround yourself with have lives of their own.

I am not even speaking about the book that you are currently immersed in . I am speaking even of the books that sit idly on your night stand or dusty piano, or atop on ole book shelf. I am talking about the text books from the college you dropped out of, that you keep in storage in the attic. Their words still speak. The fact that you haven't disposed of these books, is a testament in and of itself.
Your recycling bin has been seeking to recycle your books, but you have resisted. You have hung onto certain books because they were markers in shifts in your thinking, in your thought life, in your formal education or in your  self led self taught "home" school.

Your books have been markers of your paths of discovery. They reflect that journey to maturity...or painfully show us how far we still have to go....

I think it was Napoleon Hill, who stated that "thoughts are things".



Therefore when we surround ourselves with certain books, we are surrounding ourselves with many millions of "things" belonging to the authors of those books. Their words fill our minds, our space, our ideals. We argue with their thoughts, we discuss and dismiss or else contradict completely what we read. But we always respond to whatever we read. It is merely human nature.

 I have always resented it when someone tried to tell me what I should and shouldn't read....It felt so controlling and intrusive. I have also resented it when electronic book readers try to shove their way into my consciousness. Blogs I have embraced. Twitter too.....but reading the books I am passionate about, I want to hold in my grubby hands myself....in paper format. They may be printed on the cheapest newsprint, or the crispest leather bound hard cover, or they may be pages I've printed off and stapled together in an attempt to produce a "real" book. But it must be old school. It is a book.

 I want to bend the corners back on the pages I visit often. I want to scribble in the margins. I want to Tweet some of their quotable quotes. I continue to become delighted to uncover how great an ocean of knowledge is awaiting me in the land of books. This land beckons me still.

What mankind writes about is a reflection of what it finds important or profitable to repeat.

Soon it will be spring time in this beautiful land of Canada....and with it will come the inevitable urge to purge. Muted books will stumble into my hands and leap toward the recycling bin with reckless abandon. But I must resist. I will attempt to keep at least one book from each of my fave influential authors. Many of their thoughts I have already committed to memory. But I must keep a momento of their position of power in my life. The authors have earned a trophy. That trophy is a space on my book case.

in peace,

Carla.