You Don't Have to Be a Genius - Be An Amateur

December 7, 2021
“In the beginner's mind, there are many possibilities, In the expert’s mind, there are few” — Zen Monk Shunryu Suzuki

The word ‘amateur’ has very negative connotations associated with it, but that shouldn’t be the case.

In ‘Show Your Work’, Kleon highlights that amateurs are willing to try anything and share the results. Their process of unprofessional curiosity often leads to innovation and creative discovery.

Being an ‘amateur’ should not be mistaken with ‘mediocrity’. An amateur has a willingness to learn, whereas someone who is mediocre is comfortable within their own bubble and is fearful of exploration.

✍️ Having an obsession

Amateurs have a special type of obsession that triggers success, when I first started writing, I remember going to bed excited to write the next day. However, I’m not saying I’m an expert, but now that I’m not at the beginner's stage that I was back then, the drive and hunger to learn and improve has sadly dissolved.

Although, I am definitely trying to gain that drive back, maybe what’s needed from someone who has lost that ‘drive’ is to attempt something totally new where being an ‘amateur’ again is necessary.

Raw enthusiasm is contagious

📬 Sharing Your Progress

If you make a commitment to learning something or improving yourself in front of others, it triggers a sense of accountability. Nowadays, my friends and I feel like we’re not getting enough sleep, so to counteract this we’ve created a competitive environment by agreeing that the person who sleeps the most number hours in the week, gets their dinner paid for by the loser.

This sense of accountability can easily be mirrored by sharing your progress online.

Forget about mastering a skill before you share it. Be relatable. Promote your progress, share what you love, and the other people who love the same things will find you.

“Forget about being an expert or a professional and wear your amateurism (your heart, your love) on your sleeve” — Austin Kleon

Have a great week!


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