The title of this entry says everything. I found it under a picture by ‘Bill Balance’ in Flickr
As you can see it’s a book by Peter Block. Here you can read the excerpt. From this excerpt I am quoting a few phrases and sentences:–There is depth in the question «How do I do this?» that is worth exploring. The question is a defense against the action.–
There is something in the persistent question How? that expresses each person’s struggle between having confidence in their capacity to live a life of purpose and yielding to the daily demands of being practical.–
It has always struck me that I can write or speak the most radical thoughts imaginable. I can advocate revolution, the end of leadership, the abolition of appraising each other, the empowerment of the least among us, the end of life on the planet as we know it, and no one ever argues with me. The only questions I hear are «How do you get there from here? Where has this worked?–
We often avoid the question of whether something is worth doing by going straight to the question «How do we do it?»–
«What do you do when you find yourself in a hole?» His answer was, «The first thing you do is stop digging.»– …
to act as if we already knew how-we just have to figure out what is worth doing. It would give priority to aim over speed.–
In the face of the struggle to know what matters to us, and to act on it, we have to be gentle with ourselves. We live in a culture that lavishes all of its rewards on what works, a culture that seems to value what works more than it values what matters.–
The phrase «what matters» is shorthand for our capacity to dream, to reclaim our freedom, to be idealistic, and to give our lives to those things which are vague, hard to measure, and invisible.–
When we ask How? we are really making a statement: What we lack is the right tool. The right methodology. We are mechanics who cannot find the right wrench.–
There are more important questions, and How? should be asked later rather than sooner. We are at times so eager to get practical right away that we set limits on ourselves. We become imprisoned in our belief that we don’t know how and therefore need to keep asking the question. Also, in our search for tools, we become what we seek: a tool.We reduce ourselves to being primarily pragmatic and utilitarian.–
What is really interesting about How? is that we are asking a question to which we already have the answer–
One way of understanding the meaning of the question How? is to consider it as an expression of our wish for control and predictability.–
If knowing How? offers us the possibility of more control and predictability, then we may have to sacrifice them to pursue what matters.–
Choosing to act on «what matters» is the choice to live a passionate existence, which is anything but controlled and predictable.–
Acting on what matters is, ultimately, a political stance, one whereby we declare we are accountable for the world around us.–
Giving priority to what matters is the path of risk and adventure, but I also believe that the institutions and culture that surround us are waiting for us to transform them into a fuller expression of our own desires.–
We have the potential to reclaim and experience our freedom and put our helplessness behind us.–
We have the capacity to experience an intimate connection with other people and with all we come in contact with, rather than feeling that we exist in relationships born of barter and instrumentality.–
We also have the capacity and maturity to live a life of service and engagement, rather than the primary pursuit of entitlement and interests that focus on ourselves.
Monday May 11, 2009 – 01:44pm (EEST)
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Couldn’t agree more.
– The phrase «what matters» is shorthand for our capacity to dream, to reclaim our freedom, to be idealistic, and to give our lives to those things which are vague, hard to measure, and invisible. – Choosing to act on «what matters» is the choice to live a passionate existence, which is anything but controlled and predictable. – One way of understanding the meaning of the question How? is to consider it as an expression of our wish for control and predictability. Well expressed. Thank you for sharing, agrimi ♥~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Once I wrote you about «going with the flow»… When you trust your emotions, you don’t need to know «how»… Decide what matters to you and the universe will provide the «how».
Thanks, Nana, for typing all this out and highlighting – I hadn’t come across it before.
Makes me think of how the «hero» in quest stories, like for instance Chihiro in «Spirited Away»…
…has to start her quest without knowing the «how» of it all. The «how» would be too much to stomach, or to remember.
At last a theory to get away with all the «hows» and «wheres» that people ask you. But cuz I know you will never give up giving answers, according to this theory, which of the two is more important for finding the way? An mp3 player or a gps?
«The Answer to How is Yes» theory is an advanced combination of the «Just do it» and the «Follow your heart» theories. Let’s take the last one first. ‘Follow your heart and then just do it’ is cool. But what if you don’t know where your heart is? What if it’s cold? How (here is «how» :lol) do you kickstart it? You need stimulation for the heart. Yes, the mp3 player is the right gadget!
Young birds never ask how to fly, they don’t get a lecture on the theory of aviation or the bernoulli principle. When their feathers are long enough, mother gives them a rude kick in the rear and they are off the nest, flying.
Asking someone «How» is a human weakness, half of the how is our fear of the unknown, the other half is having this someone share the blame if we fail to execute the instructions right.
Agrimi, we all know where our heart is. We just need to stay alone from time to time and tune in with its beats.
Usually, there is so much noise around and we get distracted.
~~~The young bird’s mother has the «know-how» (rude kick in the rear) encoded in her genes 🙂 just like the young bird’s father knows how to build a nest.Looks like we «need something -> think about or experiment -> find the way how -> and the knowledge is being saved in DNA»Maybe that’s how the talent can become a heritage from generation to generation…Too many scattered thoughts coming to my mind. Nice entry, indeed!
«Just do it. Find and follow your heart. Find what matters and do it.»
Did I summarize it?
Somebody here is either a natural born leader or is just skillful in making rimes.
We don’t have the genes. We don’t have the ‘know how’. We don’t know and we don’t have the will to know. We do as we are told to do. But… oh come on, read the excerpt more carefully! ‘Simon G’ falls nearer to the point, as usual. It’s all about will power and in fact in some cases, having no second choice.
As you can see, I didn’t highlight any phrases in the comments. Though I was harsh («agrimi») in my last comment, I agree with everybody. After all there is no point in debating but living a life of service and engagement, rather than the primary pursuit of entitlement and interests that focus on ourselves.
The Answer to How is Yes!