Can You Make It Do What You Want It To?

Can you bend a spoon with your mind? Can you eat a frog? Better yet, can you make a living frog appear from your mouth as if swallowed earlier? Guess what? David Blaine just did it here. Who is David Blaine? Let me Google that for you…

This post is not about magic. It’s about being a craftsman or craftswoman.

When I was younger all I wanted to do was to play football – my intended career path was to become a footballer. My dreams were valid, of course, until life happened- I am not the one I thought I would be. Nevertheless, I follow those in that career so that I can find out what it takes to make it. Maybe then I can perhaps actually make it in my next life.

The world’s best male footballer left his home at the age of 13 to join a football academy. He left behind his family to go live with strangers in a distant land; miles and oceans away from his hometown. In this academy he breathed, ate, and slept football. He is now 29 and embarrassing peers on all fronts.

How did he become so good? How do I get that good for my next life, bearing in mind the life expectancy here?

Cal Newport in his book “So Good They Can’t Ignore You” writes about achieving success through the work you do. Many people root for finding your passion, what he calls the “Passion Mindset”. However, he takes a divergent view on this. He suggests that to be successful you have to get a rare and valuable skill, hone it through deliberate practice, and find people who can pay for it. This is termed as the “Craftsman Mindset”.

How does all this tie together, you ask?

Let us step off from the field and onto your working desk. Your job most likely requires you to use a certain skill. Be it bending spoons, or making frogs appear from your mouth or any orifice for that matter, you need some skill. Or yours may be similar to ours where we replicate a client’s business scenario on a spreadsheet software to help in decision making. How do you handle outrageous and one of a kind situations? We subscribe to the craftsman mindset and invite you to do so as well. Ask yourself, with regards to the skill you claim to possess, “Can you make it do what you want it to do?”