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wonder how to make perfEct Easy?

by | Jan 14, 2022 | Perfect, Son House, wonder

Is working less perf-E-ctly actually Easy? Let’s wonder about that… get Curious, and listen to a man older than me rediscovering his Odyssey Plan…

Is the key to Design Thinking, Curiosity, Easy?

“Play the Simple Ball”. Standing on a field that cold March morning, it was my admonishment to the young men preparing to play the game they love and qualify for the Finals – if we could win this match. We had jelled well this season, but this last hurdle was to beat our archrival – the wonder of which were mostly our close friends, including the Coach of the other team…

…my journey into Athletic Coaching Curiously came from a quest for PERFECT, but not like you think. My middle son was the kid that picked daisies in the field at “U-7”, the nomenclature for kids that are 6 in youth soccer. And something clicked when he became U-8 – his defensive skills some of the best I observed. I wondered if he would make the all-star team, and when he didn’t but one of the other coaches’ sons who was not nearly as good, did. I was Curious enough to connect the dots and realize. PERFECT – I know how THIS works. – I will coach next season

Curiously, Son had no idea that he Easily invented the Blues…

After the recordings with Lomax yesterday, House let the PERFECT voices in his head force him to fade from the public view, and get down to the “hard work” of living. He moved to Rochester, New York, about as far from the Delta as he could get, and became a railroad porter and chef for the New York Central Railroad. Meanwhile, those early recordings were “rediscovered” when others like Muddy Waters were “discovered” by The Rolling Stones, Eric Clapton, and many others in the emerging “rock” music genre. In 1964, after a long search of the Mississippi Delta, House was accidentally  “rediscovered” after more than 20 years, and thousands of miles away from music and guitar. The voice was still there, but Curiously he had not practiced guitar and couldn’t Easily remember his own songs.

wondering how to recapture what he heard on the early recordings, Columbia’s John Hammond decided to contract 22-year-old Alan Wilson (eventually in Canned Heat) to ‘teach Son House how to play like Son House’. Imagine teaching your idol, whose records you had played over and over, to try and figure out where those sounds came from, to do what he unknowingly taught you? Son embraced this Curious young white boy, and Easily recorded an album together. It may not be as important as the 1930 recordings, but that album, released in 1965, was the best of Son House’s career – the album that Jack White played to start our week off with his favorite song…

A wonderful track from that 1965 album, The Legendary Son House: Father of the Folk Blues, today we see and hear Son House’s mastery of the slide once again. The glorious sound of the slide sliding down the metal box sounds as menacing as a rattlesnake about to strike. House proved that at 63 years old he had found his inspiration and Curiosity again. He was back on a different Life Plan, one that was now Designed around Curiosity, and Easy. No matter how crude his technique is, few can rival the emotion his playing conveys, although most of the rock and blues artists you know have studied hard for most of their lives…

wonder and Curiosity are Easy paths to perfEct

… no one that knows me would think I could be involved in anything athletic. Ironically I had actually played Soccer – in Texas, where it was at that point in the mid-60s, for kids who didn’t play other sports. Check. Back to our story, after signing up to Coach, I was assigned a group of kids, we all showed up on a field, and Curiously, I had not a clue what to do. Luckily, one of the other Dad’s did, and he became the “assistant” – otherwise known as Coach in everything but logistics. Already on my path of leadership, I didn’t have to wonder about delegating the games to him. That was Easy, and pretty soon, we had some PERFECT outcomes.

… sure I eventually took some actual training, and became a Certified Coach (or Certifiably PERFECT) so I knew all of the x’s and o’s, and could draw up amazingly complex plans. All of this was moot that morning. Across the field was my former “assistant” now coaching his own team, and they frankly had way better players than we did. And, the wonder was, we had a stronger TEAM. The boys had learned to be Curious, and trust each other to do the “Easy” thing. Soccer is amazingly complex, and the best play is to ALWAYS “Play the Simple Ball”. Look up – what is the lowest cost, Easiest thing to do now… and do that. We won the game, and this chapter would presage my world into a different Life Plan that you are now helping me with…

Stop judging, Be Curious, to be more perfEct

Curiosity is the Easy path to better Thinking, better Design, just better everything. If you apply this part of Design Thinking to your Life, you will start to realize that you need multiple paths forward.  In the DYL parlance, they are called Odyssey Plans to denote that they may be Easy, but maybe a bit meandering. And, with the right amount of Curiosity, that becomes Easy… well Easier.

The loudest voice in everyone’s head is called The Judge – who sentences us to “sentences” that are always negative, always coming up short, always the Blues, … and I don’t need to add more volume to that tune. And neither do you for you or others. Today, wonder, slide that knob in the other direction – towards Curiosity and you will find the Easy path … that is may also be the new perfEct… like this amazing song from a man older than me refinding his Odyssey Plan. Pearline.

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