Dear Reader,

A fellow wandering mind shared a podcast episode in the Waves of Focus forums. The episode is:

John Dickerson’s Notebooks: The Sneaky Pitfalls of the To-Do List

Dickerson defines productivity in several ways. But one of these resonated deeply with me – that of productivity as synonymous with craftsmanship. This is the subject of today’s newsletter.

– Kourosh

A Nameless Place

When practicing at the piano, I stumble. Quite often, really.

I press a few keys, feel through the sound, hoping to memorize a few phrases along the way. The process is slow with one step forward, three steps back into some mushy swamp of fumbling fingers.

Other musicians start coming to mind. Their deftness with chords, shifts of melodies, and bouncing rhythms, all seem to flow with such ease. Their songs of such wondrous structure stir the question, “Why write at all? Maybe it’s all been written already.”

In a pause, I realize these are all manifestations of an avoidance. Somehow, even years into practice, some part of me tries to avoid the tension inherent to learning.

To learn, ignorance must be acknowledged. Without doing so, there is no true growth. There is no true learning.

That acknowledgment takes time. It’s often rife with fears of one sort or another. We cannot simply rip through them, much like we cannot begin bench-pressing 300 pounds in a first visit to a gym. Working through mind and muscle is a practice of patience.

With whatever honesty mustered, we can feel, “Where is this now?”

From this visceral experience, true growth begins, continues, and ends.

It is a nameless space.

But this is hardly surprising.

Much of what is meaningful, simply cannot be measured.

– Kourosh

PS. The answer to Dickerson’s question “What is your cab ride?”, for me, is The Visit.