The Bleeding Heart of an Amateur

I think you have to be a little bit of an idiot with everything you are trying to learn.
Otherwise, you know too much and things can get daunting / overwhelming very quickly.

The original meaning of the french word naiveté (which I always forget how to spell) was being “innocent or natural”. Another way I would interpret ‘innocent’ or ‘natural’ would be ‘childlike’.

When you approach learning with a childlike quality, you are more likely to look past how difficult the journey to mastery will actually be. On the road to mastery, here ‘ther be many dragons. The iconic photojournalist Alfred Eisenstaedt) had a saying, “Once the amateur’s naive approach and humble willingness to learn fades away, the creative spirit of good photography dies with it. Every professional should remain always in his heart an amateur.” (He also said “keep it simple.” 🙂

We all need a little amateur’s naive spirit on our path towards learning. Too much and we might fall off a cliff’s edge we didn’t see coming, too little and we might be too smart for our own good to start.

“I have observed that the world has suffered far less from ignorance than from pretensions to knowledge. It is not skeptics or explorers but fanatics and ideologues who menace decency and progress.”

Daniel Boorstin, American Historian

An amateurs naivetè can give you superpowers:

  • The ability to ask dumb questions without knowing or caring that they are dumb.
  • Endless curiosity — the ability to ask a million questions and only stop because it’s bedtime.
  • Endless imagination — When everything is unknown, everything is possible.
  • Fearless — the ability to start things, without the fear that starting new things usually brings.
  • The ability to fail towards success — sometimes without even knowing your ‘failing’.
  • And the ability to look stupid and not care.

If you can tackle any endeavor with an amateurs heart AND the wisdom to be aware of and avoid pitfalls, you just might become one the best at what you love to do.

STAY BOLD, Keep Pursuing,
— Josh Waggoner

Daily Blog #622

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