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I am posting this as a benchmark, not because I think I'm playing very well yet.  The idea would be post a video every month for a ye...

Thursday, September 19, 2019

Superpowers for adults

A childlike imagination is attracted to superpowers like bullet-proof skin or invisibility. Adult superpowers are generosity, sobriety, persistence, or attention--or anything else in this category that you might want to add. These are qualities that can be cultivated deliberately. The real superpower is the belief that one can cultivate these skills, along with a little bit of commitment to actually doing so. For example, I have learned that being happy for other people's successes is a great thing to aspire to. Some people do this naturally, and that is wonderful, but some people seem to think that others' achievements take away from theirs. I have been like that in the past to some degree but that is something that can be changed.

I would say meditation itself is not a superpower, but a way of enabling other powers to come into being. Playing or composing music on the piano is not a superpower, but the belief that one could do this might be.  I am not thinking here of particular skills, but of a generally skillful approach to thinking about life. I am attracted by what I have read about meditation and the concept of skillful thinking. There is real pleasure in having an unskillful thought and then letting it go rather than dwelling on it.

Today, while running, I thought to myself that I wasn't a very good runner. I quickly saw that it was unskilled because it wasn't based on anything useful and wasn't beneficial in any way. I was running 6 minute kilometers which is very good, for me. I could imagine a faster runner coming from behind and leaving me in the dust, but that inner conversation sounds pointless to me.

I call my inner critic "Boris," after the villain in the old Bullwinkle cartoons...

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