The story behind this blogpost was that I was making notes about working hard yet going in circles, got the idea for a metaphor what seemed funny and then forgot all about it. When I opened the document where I put the ideas for blog posts, the first thing I see is the headline:
“Initiatory version of shining a turd”. This concerned me for a bit until I remembered what it was about. By then I had told others, received a video about polishing turds (freezing them first is the trick, apparently), and the post had to be written.
I’ll try to not mention turds too often.
What I wanted to write about was the changes we spend a lot of time and effort on, but without results. We can work for years and not be a step closer to anything else than knowing more of what we want to achieve.
I’ll start with the very mundane version of.. useless shining. Since it is work, you’ll get your hands dirty, and since the material is sort of unfitting, it will change a lot. I doubt many would think the result was great.
One mistake is to put the effort into something which is relevant to learning more about the solution, but never actually using this information. If you want to spend less money, you have to spend less money, not read about how to do it. Nor does it help to make a change which is only good in theory. If you follow a ‘get rich in 30 days’-plan, you have probably made some changes to your life, but let’s face it, if it was that simple as buying the right book and following the advice for a month, almost nobody would be poor.
As for doing this with your Initiation, it is exactly the same but can be less tangible and so harder to see. “Armchair Magician” is a well-known term, but one which usually used about others. You only study a lot, and the right books, and when you have finished this, that and these books, you will be ready to put everything into use and THEN! Or you didn’t quite understand things well enough yet. But soon!
If you were reading about painting for years without actually ever painting, it would be easier to see the problem. IF the goal was to learn how to paint, and not the theory about how to paint, which is what you learn from only reading. The theory is very good to know, but if you want to paint you should do so.
When I’ve gotten this far, let me point out that reading about things in theory is of course not the problem. It is only a problem if you read to create change and never get past reading. There is absolutely nobody else’s business if you ever want to practice what you read about, but be honest to yourself about what you are doing and not.
Initiation (as everything else) has its miracle cures and ‘fix your life in 30 days’-type solutions. The same problem applies here: If it was that easy and fast to fix complex problems which often took years to develop real work, those problems would not be so bloody common.
The problem with the miracle cures and the reading of theoretical solutions, are that the time and effort and money you spend gives an impression that work is being done and changes are being made. Since Initiatory changes are notoriously easy to deceive oneself about unless you look for them mirrored in others and the world in general (next blog post, maybe?) it can be easy to fall victim to wishful thinking. After all, you did spend a lot of time and effort, it has to amount to something. Which is true in one way, work is being done and changes made, but maybe not towards what you imagine.
To go back to our economic problems, instead of spending less money, you are learning about how you in theory could spend less, but you probably don’t want to since it means sacrificing what this money gets you. If you were ready to make the sacrifices, you probably would spend less when you knew how. What would be useful here would be to examine why you cling to those things you spend money on, are they really that important to you and if yes, why is this. Or maybe the miracle cure is providing a constant false hope. But instead of learning about getting rich, you are learning what the popular theories about achieving this are. Writing your own book based on these and managing to sell this is probably a better bet than following the actual advice given.
The solution is very simple and boring. Read the theory, sit down and figure out how to follow it, then give it a shot. Over time. Make the sacrifices needed, if you can’t, figure out why. Then work on changing this first, expect it to take time. But the material and end result will be far better than any old frozen turd (had to), it is why it is harder to work with.
…and last, drop the miracle cures unless you want to study why they look like they do. If you bought into them, you have first-hand experience in the efficiency of their selling points, which is good knowledge to have. It will be roughly the same which is used to sell you everything else, too, and if there is any tendency to feel stupid, look up the amounts of money spent on advertising. It works on everybody, knowing that it does so is a valuable experience.
(No illustration pic this time. Somebody called the blog ‘sophisticated’ only days ago and I have already done enough to ruin this impression in words, I’ll skip the picture part.)