“…consider for a moment the learnings in life you’ve forfeited because your parents, your peers, your school, your society, have not allowed you to be playful, free, and foolish in the learning process. How many times have you failed to try something new out of fear of being thought silly? How often have you censored your spontaneity out of fear of being childish? Too bad.
“Psychologist Abraham Maslow discovered a childlike quality (he called it a ‘second naivete’) in people who have met an unusually high degree of their potential. Ashleigh Montagu used the term neotany (from neonate, meaning newborn) to describe geniuses such as Mozart and Einstein. What we frown at as foolish in our friends, or ourselves, we’re likely to smile at as merely eccentric in a world-renowned genius, never stopping to think that the freedom to be foolish might well be one of the keys to the genius’s success…” from Mastery by George Leonard
Wow! A lot to ponder apply here! Being foolish and expressing our “second naivete” — not much support for this in our daily life is there?And yet, allowing ourselves to be “playful, free, and foolish”—isn’t this one of the keys to improving our craft?
After all, writing dangerously is about taking risks, trying new things, failing, learning, and trying again. “Failing forward” is what learning is all about, isn’t it? And when we’re learning, we’re growing and on the path—despite many a pitfall—to becoming better writers.
So let’s not be afraid to be foolish. Let’s not be afraid to learn something new. Let’s not be afraid to experiment. Let’s not be afraid to step out of our comfort zones. Let’s be free to fly as we all write on!
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