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The Meta Skill of the Artist and Entrepreneur

David Sherry
2 min read

There are two ways to look at every situation...
with fear or with curiosity and learning.

The amygdala is an ancient part of our brain that holds fear. It's always been there to keep us safe. It interprets shadows as wild animals, and phone calls from our boss as our job on the line.

This part is useful, but not constructive for growth. If it overrides our other less fearful way of perceiving the world, we will shrink back and miss our full potential.

The other part of our brain, the prefrontal cortex, deals with learning, curiosity, growth, fun, and flow.

This part does not feel an obligation to reaction, rather it is a forward-thinking part of ourselves. It deals in vision, understanding, truth, and discovery.

It is the drive part of our brain. It desires (double-edged sword), but it also has a positive outlook on the experience.

In any situation, we can be living, being, in fear or curiosity.

This is a matter of perception rather than the hard truth. Of course, there are times to lean into our fear-based parts to get us out of trouble.

But it is often the case that we overuse this area. This is difficult, because, like insurance, it is often profitable to have a touch of worry.

So what I am sharing is how we understand the difference, like when it is warranted to listen to this fear-based part, and when it is not.

And the truth is in most instances we rely too heavily on fear and not enough on curiosity and drive.

Fear will keep us small. Fear will make us freeze. Or sometimes, we will puff ourselves up to fight them. It will react to situations to avoid them. Fight or Flight are both fear responses. And they narrow the scope of possibility.

Curiosity, joy, passion, drive will open our world up to make things better. This creates forward progress, and it does so because our minds are wide open to possibilities when we are in this space. We see not only a few options (fight/flight/freeze), but we see thousands of colors and options available to us.

This is the root of creativity. And creative is the best way we humans can be to solve our problems.

I believe we are entering an even deeper point of creativity in the world, right at this moment.

While many are in fear, and many should listen to this fear, there is also great room for creativity.

This balance is one that the artist deals with every day.

And the meta-skill of the artist is balancing these two ways of living and creating.

The meta-skill of the entrepreneur is learning how to modulate between these modes.

By building strength in your ability to shift into a mode of learning that is based in drive, passion and curiosity instead of reaction will be the single biggest shift in your career.

It is the skill that's not spoken about but underlies every action.

And it's the skill that as you continue to master, every action beyond that improves.

Right now, just be aware.

It may be too early to have full control, and that's ok.

Right now, notice how you are as you perceive certain situations.

Is there a shrinking back? Is there a stepping forward with open space?

Are you reacting or acting?

Our work as artists and founders is to sharpen this skill and muscle.

To activate creativity despite circumstances.

To allow fear only when it is truly necessary.
And to know the difference between the two.

xx David

Mastery and CraftArtistBusiness