Saturday, July 09, 2005

Dilettante - An amateur who engages in an activity without serious intentions and who pretends to have knowledge

I started reading 21 Dog Years : Doing Time @ last night. It's too early to say how good the book is, but the first chapter is really something I can relate very well to. Some excerpts:

I am a dilettante. I do many things, but none particularly well. It is the art of not applying yourself, the only craft I have studied my entire life. Like so many of my generation, I cherish the delusion that I have superpowers buried deep inside me.
In some ways it was the curse of talent; there was a whole list of things in which I showed great promise. But there is a hell of a gap between "talented" and "successful", and to bridge it you need something called "will". My teachers begged me to dedicate myself -- just a little -- and said I would really blossom. I dug in my heels and refused. I feigned scorn and indignation but really I was just too scared to apply myself. I was afraid I would discover my limitations. Better not to know. Better to be free and easy and cultivate an air of smug accomplishment. Nurture my talent. Read another book. Play some more Nintendo.
The answer is perhaps very close to what Pankaj wanted to say here. It goes:
Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world.There'’s nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won'’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It'’s not just in some of us; it'’s in everyone. And when we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we'’re liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.
I am a dilettante. I want to bask in the sunny delusions of things I can do, rather than sweating it out and actually doing those things. It's easy to confuse it with laziness, but really it's lack of will. I'm not applying myself. I'm always complaining about the job and how is it not very satisfying, but did I ever try to apply myself to the menial tasks? The insatiable thirst of intellectually fulfilling work is holding me back from appreciating that even the most dull tasks are to be done by someone.

Sorry, just thinking aloud.

1 comment:

Pankaj Jain said...

The lack of application part is very true. The successful ppl I have met are hell dedicated to their work. I mistakenly took their dedication to be interest in work. And think that this work will be interesting or that will be. I realise that I have stopped thinking of getting a good job and think more to get a not so bad job(that pays well).