Is it the skill or the person? + Developing One’s Eye

a person can do all of these things but still be missing something.

As I accumulate experience/just plain get older while continuing to develop my eye i.e., try to see details while maintaining a constructive skepticism (“Am I really seeing everything?”), I become better at seeing exactly which parts of the “it” are missing. Sadly it’s easier for me to see these elements when the examples of lack are compared with examples in which they are present. In any case, developing my mind’s eye in this respect is mostly academic, unless I were inclined or assigned to identify problems and shortcomings.

How it does work for me and my progress, though, is to remind me to 1) rely on my intuition and general sense of things in addition to seeing the “cold, hard facts”, 2) reality-check via certain indicators e.g., I may feel like I am empathically listening to someone, which is what I’m aiming for, but I may not be exhibiting the actual behavior, such as reflecting, and therefore might be perceiving reality inaccurately, and 3) in my progress toward whatever/however it is that I’m trying to become, I have a certain holistic, here-and-now balance to check in myself i.e., Am I doing the behaviors? vs Are the behaviors “me”/am I “being myself”? Which leads to, once in a while, “Am I now someone different, hopefully ‘better’ compared to one year, five years, etc. ago, and yet feel ‘myself’?”

The above is pretty intense and intellectual, and not a mode I am in so frequently. It’s a little like looking at a map and walking or driving at the same time. Mostly it’s a way to check in on myself once in a while.

Most of the time I’ll just keep in mind one or two specific things I’d like to do more frequently but otherwise keep “activated” a motivation to be this more developed person. I’d like to be more patient, a more engaging listener, etc. Therefore I’d like to be a person who is more and more inclined to ask about you, feel sympathy, not feel irritated, etc. I guess I am placing faith in my capacity for self-actualization. I have the sense that self-actualization, or one’s control in how one goes through life, takes a certain skill to “activate”. (Plus effort or a certain type of concentration!)

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One Response to Is it the skill or the person? + Developing One’s Eye

  1. Over the years I’ve been privileged to teach hundreds of students, and learn from almost as many instructors and the common theme for all Aikido “success”, if the art can ever been benchmarked, is the people. Whether what the practitioner was performing was my ‘cup of tea’ or not, every time I’ve seen Aikido that has made an impression it has been because the person demonstrating had something about them that made it special.

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