For success, happiness, a generally robust life, resilience (especially as described by Martin Seligman) is foundational.
The always-rich Eide Neurolearning Blog briefly reviews a book, It Takes a Parent, and identifies the key neural fact:
Resilient college students were better at 'letting go' of negative
images than their non-resilient counterparts. When viewing negative
pictures, resilient students reacted the same as the non-resilient -
the difference was in how they were able to stop the negative emotional
reaction after it had been seen. [emphasis added]
Letting it go, moving fresh, free of the negative baggage:
Biofeedback tells us to intentionally activate the stopping mechanism.
Having recently investigated membership in a shabby and glorious and stumbling institution, one comes away assured at least of this: Ambition and certainty about oneself in such a context is foolish, perhaps fatal.
Don’t escort the big chariot; You will only make yourself dusty.
He (Warren) adds,
In summer we may walk in sandals.
To be free, especially, of the burden of envy -- a weight people carry like their own gut -- is to begin to have everything.
Risotto or a salad, shade, sweet tea, fragrant & juicy summer fruit, perhaps a companion. The Eastern Orthodox are enjoined to selective food intake on Wednesdays, regarding the practice as a step toward return to the obedience of Eden.
Pope Benedict XVI (4.19.2005 - ____), formerly Cardinal Ratzinger, born at Marktl am Inn, Germany, 78 years ago. An accomplished pianist, favoring Beethoven. Up-to-date in engagement with modern currents of thought, he is unsurprisingly firmly Catholic in doctrine. According to Andrew Greeley, who is no friend of "ultraconservatives,"
he is, make no mistake about it, a bright man who considers the life of the mind very important.
Short-notice music and ceremony in Austin and at local parish churches the world over, celebrating Habemas Papam. A fine musician of our acquaintance was just sighted hurrying off clutching her music folder, called to play "for the new Pope."
There is something about these repetitions that stretch so far back -- and forward? -- into history, a procession through time, and perhaps beyond. A beloved figure fails, passes on, then the funeral, a brief time of uncertainty during the Conclave, and then Peter's Throne is again occupied, now and the future in our sights. Decently, and in order.
Not a burden a wise man would seek. Thank you, Benedict. We wish you nothing but blessing.
Around here we read a lot of marketing-and-culture theory, because at its best it's about communications, culture, prosperity, economics, and amusement. Ideas being batted around now include "markets are conversations," "total experience marketing," niche marketing, viral marketing, cool hunters, BzzAgents, even alchemy. All ways of looking at emerging groundswells of attitude and practice.
Here is a lifestyle trend that seems important. The Pro-Am Revolution: How enthusiasts are changing our economy and society*, by Charles Leadbeater and Paul Miller. It comes from a study group in the UK, and the policy suggestions -- create commissions and spend public money -- is where I turned right and got a manicure. But the pattern itself, parallel or in succession to cover-the-nut careers, is worth noticing. The discussion in the report is mostly about the personal satisfaction of pursuing excellence; that excellence will shade over into offering their skills in the market, as well as create new markets.
Professional-level amateurs may not have a piece of paper issued by a designated agency
that says they're good. Often it doesn't matter. There is a
difference between access to tools, and skill in using them. Vide discussions of journalism and the blogosphere.
Professional barriers are not likely to fall in some areas, law,
medicine, skyscraper construction, because there actually is a bright line between
mastering the conceptual material and being trained in the algorithms,
the physical rhythms, the steeling of nerves, and the obscure professional
agreements that are regarded as ethics in those fields. Apprenticeship is required, and controlled. In fact, the
best professionals will always set the standard. And in many cases,
where much is at stake and the gatekeepers are reliable (ah, there's
the question...) it makes sense to require professional credentials, when it's an organ transplant or a patent.
But gardening, software design, anywhere the proof is in the result and there is not a high threshhold of abracadabra--nothing keeps others, talented and self-taught, from doing it as
well or better. Mostly for their own enjoyment.
That is the sea change that's happening. A credential is good. But its absence does not mean an absence
of skill and knowledge. And the fall-out, or ooze, from this, will be that those "ethics" requirements that are simply anti-competitive will be scrutinized in a new way, once the world gets used to looking directly for skill, not taking the word of the anointed scribes. New gatekeepers, communities of practice, consumer reports, will arise, evaluating skill in fine-tuned ways that professional licensing agencies are unwilling to do. (Just try asking your Bar Referral Service for "the best real estate lawyer.") A free-for-all at the margins, and distributed intelligence to rate performance.
The fourth maxim in the wonderful little book, The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz, is Always Do Your Best. What happens when enthusiastic people do something they love, and do their best, is, they get darn good at it, and enjoy it even more.