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The Tinkered Mind
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July 26th, 2018
In Greek Mythology, Athena is born one day when Zeus has a headache. Someone cleaves his head with an ax and his daughter Athena pops out, fully grown in full battle armor.
If only our hopes and dreams could materialize in the real world in such a spectacular and wishfully quick fashion.
Alas, while some people’s migraines might feel like headaches fit only for Olympians, our projects and endeavors almost never occur in the same divine fashion.
But this is how we often think of other people’s accomplishments. When someone has a book published, how many of us are quick to think that we could never accomplish such a feat?
Or someone who cycles across North America. How many are quick to box themselves into the category of people who could never do such a thing?
Why do we look at the book or the cross-country trip and fail to think of all the little bits of time it took to accomplish? Perhaps because we only ever see the fully formed Athena in full battle armor.
It’s effectively a magic trick. Of course we’re smart enough to know that writing a book must have taken loads of time that was not necessarily filled with the sort of creative spectacle that Athena’s birth entails, but somehow we seem to forget it. Perhaps it has to do with that old adage: out of sight, out of mind.
A cross-country cycling trip is just a matter of going for a bike ride in one direction every day for a couple months.
Writing a book is just a matter of sitting down everyday and throwing words at a screen for a little while.
Have an Athena-sized idea?
Best not to hope for a headache. Best not even to think of it as a fully formed idea. Maybe just take a first casual step. And repeat that casual effort everyday, and see what happens, who knows what new coast you might find.