As Dan Pink says in Drive, “mastery is a pain.”
Have you ever wanted to do something, but knew you would have to get through tough times to get there? To go through the dip? Unsure about whether it’ll be worthwhile or not?
If something will take a year of my life, I don’t think much of the suffering I’ll have to go through. But if it’ll take three, or five, I consider it very seriously. Sometimes, it paralyzes me.
I still believe in the myth of the young genius— that if I work so hard at something and only see results in five years, it won’t matter, because I’ll be old and insignificant by then. The beast still has its claws in me; it’s pernicious, and I can’t let it go.
This is why I’ve never really had a career in my life, despite my father being a career counsellor. One day, I’ll have to choose something; I won’t be able to just let the waves of fate propel me forward, avoiding the hard decisions, forever.
Are you like this? Maybe there’s some kind of suffering you can handle, but another that you’re entirely incapable of even considering.
I’d like to train myself for this kind of suffering. I do it through doing pretty insane Crossfit workouts. I did it while meditating in Japan. I even do it through getting tattooed a lot. But obviously I haven’t figured everything out.
What kind of training is there to be ready for the long haul? Is it something that you’re born with; do your parents teach you how? If it’s a skill you can learn, then goddamn, I’m ready to learn it.