– Roger Ainsworth
ABC News reports on three amateur prospectors who struck it rich in the Western Australian Goldfields…
The Treasure Island gold tenement is where three amateur prospectors struck it rich.
Focus Minerals purchased 75 per cent of the Treasure Island Gold Project from the men late last year and has now taken the final 25 per cent. In total, the men were paid more than $2 million and granted them eight million shares in the company.
Mr. Ainsworth, who has only been prospecting for six years, says they were novices when they made the claim.
“What we basically did was looked on the government geological maps and what areas were vacant and we found this big area that is now the Treasure Island lease,” he said. “It was vacant at the time and it had a lot of greenstone belts in it, so we said hang on, greenstone, isn’t that where you find gold?”
“We knew enough to know that, but that’s about all we knew.”
Mr. Ainsworth says the find has set him up for life.
“I don’t think I’m ever going to have to work very hard again if I don’t want to,” he said. “My advice to anyone is dare to dream and who knows what will happen.”
Dare to dream, dare to act, and who knows what might happen.
The Perfectionist’s Prison
Do you understand the paralysis asssociated with perfectionism? (If not, you may not be a perfectionist; stop reading now or forward along to…)
Disclaimer: I am a recovering perfectionist.
Pure perfectionism is that inclination that says anything short of perfection is unacceptable. If something is perfect it’s said to be free from fault or defect or failure; and we think this is attainable because?
By nature, perfectionism limits the very activity necessary for success – trial and error. When is it “good enough for this version” or “good enough for today”? When do we acknowledge we can improve on “it” in order to “ship it”?
Perfectionism traps imperfect people with the illusion of perfect. It creates unhappy, rigid people often stuck with high risk aversion and therefore resistant to taking action. “It’s not good enough…yet.”
Hara Marano, a Psychology Today author writes in “Pitfalls of Perfectionism”…
Perfectionism may be the ultimate self-defeating behavior. It turns people into slaves of success—but keeps them focused on failure, dooming them to a lifetime of doubt and depression. It also winds up undermining achievement in the modern world.
Summarizing some of the negative effects, perfectionism tends to
- Create psychological distress
- Limit people from engaging in challenging experiences
- Hinder one’s discovery of what they like
- Restrict creation of individual identity
- Reduce playfulness
- Limit assimilation of knowledge
- Reduce creativity and innovation
- Support self-absorption with perpetual self-evaluation
- Bring relentless frustration, anxiety, even depression
Perfectionism leads to a loss of freedom, so…
What can perfectionists learn from amateurs?
Amateurs have more fun. Amateurism brings a certain freedom.
What happens when you combine amateur freedom with professionalism, along with the pursuit of excellence and a commitment to life purpose?
Could it be time to celebrate amateurism?
Let’s think about this for a minute, what do we know about an amateur? At least 3 characteristics:
- Love – they love doing something and have a great interest in it
- Pleasure – they do what they do for pleasure not money
- Growth – they are committed to doing their best while still learning; amateurs are professional, i.e.-they have skill, competence, and character
The word amateur, according to Word-Orgins.com started out meaning “lover”.
That is what its ultimate Latin ancestor amator meant (lover), and indeed in English it still denoted ‘someone who loves or is fond of something’ until well into the 19th century. However, its immediate source, French amateur, had already evolved the subsidiary sense ‘one who does something solely for the enjoyment, not for payment’, and that is now its only English meaning.
What happens when you are an amateur? You…
- love your work
- find pleasure in your work, and
- experience personal growth due to your work
Who decided to pit the spirit of amateurism against professionalism and excellence? What’s that costing us today?
Bringing Purpose back to Work
The modern view of “having a job” can hinder the joy of being associated with “work”. When did we begin to minimize work to “gainful employment”? What happens when work is reduced to an exchange of skills and time for money?
As Os Guinness points out in his book The Call such a narrow view can shift the purpose of work where work is done…
…to make money to do something else. In the modern view, “Doctors practice medicine not primarily to relive suffering, but to make a living; lawyers accept briefs not because they have a passion for justice, but because the law is the profession that enables them to live.”
The result, (as Dorothy) Sayers observes, is a modern heresy and modern fallacy. “The fallacy is that work is not the expression of man’s creative energy in the service of society, but only something he does in order to obtain money and leisure”. (P. 200)
The Amateur’s Journey and Reward
What happens if we combine the following in our work?
- Purpose (service of society),
- Passion (the amateur’s love), and
- Competence (continued personal growth)
- in the Pursuit of excellence (outstanding)
So that our work is rewarding and compensation becomes a by-product? What happens to engagement? Productivity? Work?
Mr. Ainsworth, an amateur says, “I don’t think I’m ever going to have to work very hard again if I don’t want to,” he said.
Is that perfection?