Sunday, March 25, 2012


So post Musashi exhibition, I've been in a kind of slump, I finally found a daily drawing project that stuck though and feel I've turned a corner.

So I'm facing a fact though, success has a lot of vaguries. We all know it, except there is little evidence, even anecdotal that what we think of as success exists. That is, the jury is out on the hedonic payload of 'succeeding' and whether the person who desires success, and the person capable of success can retain the same definition of success.

blergh? Put simply, by the time we are in a position to have what we want, typically we seem to want something else.

Which is by no means a fatalistic stance, can't succeed, don't bother. Rather the whole... you know, it's not the destination it's the journey. Certainly my own notch system represents my own degree of success in things I actually value. (by contrast I only blutacced my latest degree to the wall because I wanted to use the cylindrical tube it was posted in for something else.)

I've made no secret of my recent psychology sessions, one of the big things I had to face was that I may possibly be...

...please believe me when I say, my social conditioning makes it incredibly hard and uncomfortable for me to write this, which is by the way one of the major benefits of seeing a psychologist, you can dispense with ettiquette, social conditioning, conventions etc...

remarkable. I still have trouble believing it. I would probably say exceptional. Like, I realise that I am an exception to many rules of 'how a person normally acts.'

I don't like this notion, that I am in someway special. I have spent years refuting it and being offended by it.

Like all through high school, I never considered myself to work hard. I made what to me seem to be a bunch of ordinary observations, namely 1. teachers won't trust self directed learning to deliver the results they need for their own performance review - therefore you will never be assessed on anything they don't cover in class. 2. I referred to 1% of all handouts ever again, so I took to simply throwing them away as soon as a class was done.

These were my secrets to doing well in school, while doing almost no homework and keeping a remarkably tidy locker, folders etc. I simply had nothing to put in them. I just paid attention in class and did the practice exams. I find this strategy both A) highly effective and B) wholly unremarkable.

I have tried to 'sell' my strategy for educational excellence for years, and years and it is always rejected most commonly because people tell me 'but you are different, you are smart.'

Maybe I am, but not in any remarkable way. Not that I feel.

That I think is why I love Musashi Miyamoto's Book of Five Rings so much, why he had to be the subject matter of my first exhibition. If you read his actual 'invincible' sword strategy, it is WHOLLY UNREMARKABLE. He simply and pragmatically employs what works, while stripping back all the pretence.

Thus the outcome of my psychology sessions is that:

YES remarkable people do exist.

HOWEVER, the dividing line between 'remarkable' and 'unremarkable' is in practice amazingly small.

SPECIFICALLY, remarkable people, just actually try to be remarkable. That is it.

It's why I think the best advice on success remains Woody Allen's:

'80% of success is showing up.'

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