In my last few posts I have developed the idea that each of our lives and ventures are unfolding dramas. Each of us is writing a script that is in the process of turning out as a comedy or tragedy. Things work out or don't largely as a result of our self-awareness and mindset. In a comedy (especially romantic comedies) the protagonist starts out as one kind of person (usually a dickhead). As he becomes a better person he overcomes his obstacle and achieves his objective. In a tragedy, the dickhead prevails. (I can verify this from personal experience.)
In his excellent blog (waitbutwhy.com), Tim Urban introduces the distinction between the cook and the chef and points out that while many of us like to think of ourselves as chefs dreaming up new recipes and flavors in our respective areas, the reality is that most of us are following recipes (scripts) created by other chefs.
My eldest son is a chef. At this stage of his career spends most of his shifts cooking other people's recipes. For example, he is an expert soufflé cooker. He did not develop the very precise chemistry but he's mastered it. His deserts are one of my favorite things.
Before going to culinary school, Kyle experimented with something he called "pake". This involved baking a blueberry pie inside of a lemon chiffon cake. Very original. He also cooked a cornish game hen, stuffed inside of a chicken, inside of a duck, inside of a turkey, wrapped in bacon and stuffed inside of a pig that he buried in the ground with hot coals for a day. We failed to name this improvement on "churducken."
I saw Tom Cruise develop his acting chops in the early days in tons of artistic masterworks. Mind-blowing. I also saw him jumping up and down on Oprah's couch giddy with new love. It's hard now to watch a Tom Cruise movie now because it's too easy to think: "hey, there's Tom Cruise playing a character called Jack Reacher." It's too hard to suspend reality because we all know too much about Tom Cruise. My friend Andrea Kates pointed this out that there is a very different approach to acting and movie stardom, as different as art and craft and fame and fortune.
If someone is involved in the drama of developing a culinary career, the journey is largely about starting out as cook and earning his or her chops as a chef. There is nothing wrong with spending the whole day cooking; it's a noble pursuit, but there is a kind artistic expression that is different as a chef. Likewise, if someone is pursuing a venture in theatre, television or film, the arc is very different along the path from actor to movie star or actor to auteur.
Your venture is also an unfolding drama as you figure out how to write a comedy instead of a tragedy. Who were you at the start of your story? Who are you now? Who do you need to become in order to overcome your own demons and self-doubts on your way to a worthy objective?
I am working on becoming a storyteller. I am interested in the relationship between personal growth and the growth of sustainable ventures that create wealth and a high quality of life as they contribute to the social fabric and integrity of our natural world. Please check out what my partners and I are up to at stepone.net and please click here to purchase your copy of my new book. I am a work in progress. So are you. I hope its turning out as a comedy for both of us. Please feel free to share your thoughts below.