We’d all like to improve. The general rule that practice makes perfect is counterbalanced by the principle that one should not repeat bad habits. Mere repetition does not qualify as practice. I know from my childhood days of piano scales and arpeggios that practice and repetition go hand in hand. Practice must however capture some elemental purpose before its repetition pays dividends.
That elemental purpose is the vein of gold. There is an inclination that one must dig deep to find it, a belief that the inescapable forces of our nature are somehow hidden. They are not. They are obvious. It only compounds the search for gold to suggest that there is a secret to its discovery, a preposterous thesis because we already know what we are made of. We sometimes disguise our primary features because we imagine them improved if we do so.
Capitalizing upon our essence requires more bravery than intelligence; it is a fairly mundane occupation and far more visceral than cerebral. But because we so often feel the need to decorate the product we dilute its original strength. We haven’t the courage to speak from the heart as it were. Tapping into one’s voice is of course the object. Even if one doesn’t immediately recognize how to get down the river it may help to recall there are two ways of doing so: either you know where to go or where not to go.
It is human nature to protect ourselves. This unfortunately sometimes translates into a concealment which like so many other pretences in life succeeds in fooling ourselves and no one else. Here again a bit of daring is required. This doesn’t mean that we must simply be audacious. It means we have to be bold enough to see that our constitution is made of diverse features and it is their blend which produces the ultimate result. Alloys are not contaminants.
The search for gold becomes confused if one tries to predict its source before finding it. The process of self-discovery is one which unfolds naturally and not artificially. It isn’t a tedious process, just methodical. Like learning to play the piano. One cannot jump into a Sonata before learning to read the notes. The same applies to any talent.
Everyone likes a robust flavour. Unplugging ourselves goes a long way to enhancing our reception. Part of the revelation is not only what others see in us but also what we see in others. Admission of inherent prejudices and preferences isn’t failure, it’s natural. And besides, it’s you! We all know when someone is speaking out of the side of their mouth; it does nothing to advance the truth of the matter.