<Say Yes To No>
This book is written by Greg Cootsona, a pastor who’s a passionate musician. Incidentally, two identities that I hardly feel any affinity with. But perhaps because this book is written from a lens so refreshingly different from mine, I enjoyed reading it tremendously. I love how this book dwells on getting close to your soul. “It takes time to feel time” consists of simple words but packs a truth so profound that I suspect it will take me years to unpack its entire meaning. Recently, I said nope to presenting at a conference during teachers’ protected time in June 2024. It wasn’t difficult for me to decline the opportunity. However, given my tendency to embrace novel challenges, I knew very well that this was something that I would value highly in years to come. Nonetheless, when I read that “you can say yes to the luxury of time”, I knew that I had made the right decision. More downtime is good for me to examine the rhythms of my work life and analyse how I roll with the ebb and flow of time. I wrote in my rejection email that I wanted to have a schedule that is “as uncluttered as possible”; I guess listening to my instincts is the best thing to do. I particularly enjoyed the section about how musicians must practise the fundamentals of their musicality diligently for years so that they hone their skills to a level in which infusing spontaneity is something they inject easily and delightfully. Again, I have a relatable anecdote. So, I stayed back today to crack my brains at the Escape Room activity that we were to organise for students next week. And I tried out Pictory.AI for the first time ever. Basically, I tried not to see it as a chore but instead, as a chance to experiment with all those fancy AI tools out there. Teaching is a chaotic profession in which you are expected to achieve great things with fractional attention, so I don’t know whether I would always have the mental capacity and emotional bandwidth to invest in upgrading my skills. Sometimes, after finishing all the myriad non-teaching tasks, I just wanna scamper home and take a nap. But I’m reminded that I can only improvise when I have put in the time to master my craft.
Thanks for the details, both anecdotes are very thought-provoking.
The "hone your skills so you can be more readily creative" has great resonance, especially. It's weird how so many things that are artful, effortless, beautiful are only that way because they're built on a bedrock of toil.
I like the 10,000 hours concept in which we must put in 10,000 hours of deliberate effort in order to be excellent at something.
The thing is, because I’m interested in so many things, I rather be a jack of all trades than a master of one