Archive for January 11th, 2007

The Struggle For Mastery

Looking up this morning on the train, my eye was drawn toward a rather bright and cheerful advertisement for these people here: Unlockyourpotential.ie

Flourishing as I am in all areas of my existence, this is not quite the sort of thing that appeals to me. Rather, I tend to be drawn toward adverts for WKD, since they are an enticing intimation of the life I might really like to lead.

The idea of ‘unlocking’ potential, as it relates to human beings, does not mean much unless the potential itself is somehow directed to some acceptable goal. ‘Unlocking your potential’ could mean becoming a serial killer, or descending into a fug of alcoholism.

I was also struck by the idea touted on the site of ‘Personal Mastery’. It is hard to see how this could be anything other than how to be a master to your person.

But if your person -the puffy-eyed fathead gazing back at you from the mirror- needs a master, how can this be anyone other than yourself? Is the point to develop an additional personality -perhaps a gentleman in a top hat and monocle- to drive forward the slovenly wretch that constitutes your core person? All very confusing.

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