Are you amazed by excellence (in anything)?

You must be ruthless in selecting the quality and sources of your attention

Are you amazed by excellence (in anything)?
Photo by Yohan Cho / Unsplash

Craftsmanship is exciting to watch even if you don't care much about the thing they're making

Find a plumber or a carpenter on top of his game, who loves his work, who makes a name for himself as a high-end purveyor of quality work.

Marketing sometimes frustrates this, throwing up a smokescreen of prestige over merely adequate work.

But it's a general rule of thumb that quality survives and stands out.

You may not care much about woodwork or what keeps the water flowing in and out of your home.

The practitioners on top of their game nerd out on their chosen profession.

They aren't just technicians anymore. They've come to love the game.

There's an infectious energy that comes from enthusiasm

You can see this for yourself. Find a skilled expert, someone who builds things, and watch them work.

Find a documentary if you're an INTJ who doesn't like talking to people.

Watching a master at work is its own kind of masterclass.

Even if you're doing soft cognitive work.

Even if you're a writer.

That doesn't mean you have to go down to a job site to get better at words

Excellence in any skilled craft depends on attitude.

It's a quest for perfection.

It's knowing you'll never get there.

It's acting like you can.

How many writers do you know who act like gossipy teenagers and depressive emo-goths?

How many have been infected by the dogmas of literary elitism, which preach suffering and the tedious toil of writing?

How many fundamentally unserious people have you met in this world of artistic creativity?

Speaking only for my ownself, the answer is "too many".

The best and the brightest don't fall into that category. They're also rare gems.

Not least of which because they understand the true craftman's attitude toward excellence.

You can learn the attitude of excellence from the most mundane, boring, unsechsy skills

The baker. The electrician. The gardener. The tailor. The leather-worker.

You aren't too good to learn from them.

You aren't too good to get your hands dirty -- metaphorically. Or literally.

You aren't essentially different from the skilled craftsman.

You work in a different medium with different tools. But that's no real hurdle.

Understand this. Your writing is not a precious special art that bleeds your soul out on to the page.

You are a worker in a skilled craft. You can learn from the traits and attitudes of other skilled workers.

The best will do this. The best will always look to improve, not only their bare technical skills, but their own inner reality.

Success in any field has far more to do with your own beliefs and attitudes, your mindsets and even your words, than your technical ability.

If you want to excel, then you must be amazed at excellence in any form

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