projects are self education

This might be sort of a duh moment, but sometimes saying obvious things can lead to sublime insights. No promises…

I am self educated. My last institutional degree was a high school diploma. Pros and cons? I celebrate the pros and am only vaguely aware of the cons. Ok, perhaps I am more than vaguely aware but damn the cons, full speed ahead!

I am about to digress. A vegetarian gets a lot of WHY questions, often asked with a whiff of guilt or a dash of aggression. The idea of vegetarianism seems to be challenging, maybe because folks hear it’s healthier or think they’d like to try but can’t imagine how they’d manage. The gist is that vegetarians often get thrust into the role of therapist – ho hum.  “Well, everyone’s body is different, mine functions really well without meat, but your body might need it. How about those Mets?” That’s the diplomatic subject shift.

Self education is an even a weirder trigger than vegetarianism and thank goodness it rarely comes up in casual conversation. If someone does find out that I am degree free they politely keep quiet about it, assuming that my parents couldn’t afford to send me or whatever, which works out fine. If they knew I deliberately avoided formal education, that might push more buttons than my being meat free.

I’ll save those buttons for some other time. I am writing this not to pick a fight with the traditionally educated, but to clarify a few points for myself and to offer some guidance to younger self educators. I know a very sharp young sister who, forsaking scholarships and whatnot,  jetted off to Vienna to hang with a film maker friend, juiced to the gills on bliss. I’ve got nephews who are building an alternate university in their basement. There’s plenty of brilliant creators out there who don’t see much sense in starting life with a degree and 50k of debt.

Getting excited about creating something is the essence of self education. Projects often require new knowledge, abilities and resources. Let’s back up for a moment. The first ingredient of a good project is excitement. The concept has to feel groovy, it’s got to be bliss driven. Otherwise, super human effort won’t be sustainable. Ok, step two is identify what’s needed, what will make the project’s jambalaya jump. The components or ingredients of the project become the syllabus for the self educator – what’s not known must be learned, what’s missing must be acquired. Working with the available bits and pieces, simple tests demonstrate that the essential concepts make sense, that the big idea is workable (or not). If tests fail, the idea can be changed or scaled back, guided by bliss.

In the context of The Desire Project, visualization, nonviolent communication, wilderness, Hawaiian language/culture and portable documentation are primary components. That’s 5 major components so far  – a lot! Not to mention the basic navigation and expanded sailing chops I’ll be getting from Kai. So this is shaping up to be a water workshop, a major self education event.

This is what visioning is all about, working with the emerging elements, cooking the project up. Certainly there will be more to say on self education as the project evolves.

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One Response to projects are self education

  1. heikilee says:

    Now I am really hungry for some more of… life!
    Its a great excerpt on self educating, especially in that classroom you will soon be entering.
    Thanks for sharing those tidbits. It’s so fun to read your thoughts without prying!

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