Saturday, August 14, 2010


The path of a craftsman, in my mind is pretty well established. It can be broken into three segments. Each segment is from 5 to 10 years, with overlaps.
The first segment is doing the work, to gain the experience. When you have youth, arrogance, nervous energy and the lack of stuff competing for your time, this is the time when you take on projects which should be way over your current skill level. The tasks should be as difficult and as frequent as possible. With youth, "how do you know what you don't know when you don't know it". These trials will be difficult, and only the focused, hard working individual who is able to confront their fears will attempt the most difficult tasks. A confidence in one's self, be it arrogance, ego or the more honorable "inner friend" can be good qualities to start. Accomplishments will be great as most tasks often just require taking them on. This is where one is confronted with "mirrors" of who they are and what their belief systems are. Along with these accomplishments should come humility, empathy and a willingness to realize that they are not the smartest person alive.
After time has passed and the corresponding maximum number of difficult tasks have been accomplished, now the second stage can commence. At least by the later part of this first time frame listed, comes the second stage, which are the questions that should be presenting themselves. How one looks and thinks to find the answers is critical. That is the stage of information/science. Along the first path, one may think they are on the path to good information, however learning how to think critically is more difficult than the first path and cannot be obtained without the experience. Learning how to think critically, to understand science and the scientific approach, this is often where the ceiling is hit. And it is often hit without the individual ever knowing it, and can be hit very soon in even the first stage. Partially because one has to also develop emotionally, to get a handle on the arrogance/ego which up to this point was an asset. If this stage is not fully embraced, more experience only becomes revisiting the non scientific processes that have gotten one to the point where they think they have the answers. No further advancement can be achieved. In most cases, no further advancement is warranted. It is easy to slack off at this point, one will have more external stuff competing for their time. The potential lack of emotional growth will make the "mirrors of ourselves" through the work, become harder to view.
If the two stages are successfully worked through, this is where the "Albert Einstein" of a craftsman can emerge. It usually happens to some degree, it is just that for the overwhelming majority, individuals limitations on themselves means they can never become the "Albert Einstein", they become the "John Smith". Most never know it, because when one is the "John Smith" those become the ones who think they are the "Albert Einstein" presenting that fake image with almost no one able to ascertain that they are not the real deal. Because only the true "Albert Einstein's" know the "John Smith's" are not the real deal and the "Einstein's" empathy for humanity will keep them silent.
So the question is what do you want, what is the next step you will do in proceeding towards becoming the ultimate craftsman, and once you get there what are you going to do with it?

I was looking on Fay Butler's web site this morning and came across this. If you ever get the chance give him a call and pick his brain he is a wealth of knowledge and a true Craftsman

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