Last week I received a provocative blog post from my dear mentor Seth Godin. It has been haunting me ever since. Here it is:
The 10x programmer, the 10x strategy expert, the 10x surgeon.
This is something we are always in search of. The human who is playing at a different level, generating work that changes everything.
The thing is: a 1x contributor can’t become a 10x merely by working ten times as hard. The physics of time won’t allow it, certainly, but it’s also because 10x doesn’t work on the same axis. It’s not about more effort. It’s about more insight.
In order to make that forward leap, you need to trust yourself. To create space. To have the discipline to say no to distractions or even to projects that put you back into the 1x mode.
The reason that there are so few 10x contributors isn’t that we lack innate talent. It’s that our systems and our self-talk seduce us into believing that repeating 1x work to exhaustion is a safer path.
Upon first reading I thought, “Ten times what?” 10x more effective? 10x more beautiful? 10x more empowering? 10x more healing? It’s up to each of us to determine how, and if, we want to make an exponential change in our lives and in the lives around us.
This 10x notion resonates with me because I’ve long felt that the changes we are called to make in the American Way of Life and in our own hearts are profound and radical, not incremental. Dr King wrote: “This is no time … to take the tranquilizing drug of gradualism.”
Remember what happened at the end of “How the Grinch Stole Christmas”?
“And what happened, then? Well, in Whoville they say –
that the Grinch’s small heart grew three sizes that day.
And then – the true meaning of Christmas came through,
and the Grinch found the strength of ten Grinches, plus two!”
The Grinch experienced an exponential change of heart and strength. And this was triggered by hearing a song! “Rah who foray Rah who foray…” That was some exponentially powerful singing!
My aim with the singing dojo is to incubate such an exponential change in myself and my community. Not just once through some fortunate confluence of circumstances. Again and again…
“In order to make that forward leap, you need to trust yourself. To create space. To have the discipline to say no to distractions or even to projects that put you back into the 1x mode.”
What is the space I need to trust myself to make? It’s a space in which we go for cultivating and realizing 10x the consensuality, 10x the presence, the attunement, the patience, the faith.
I’ve been working at this for years. But ineffectually. Still I struggle to create the workable context in which participants are game for exponential increases in connection. Growing your heart 3x has a painful aspect. Our hearts have shrunk in order to avoid the vast pain of this alienated time. To avoid feeling the pain of destroying and desecrating the earth, we cocoon ourselves in ways that amplify the desecration. Feeling life with enlarged hearts means opening to the 10,000 joys and the 10,000 sorrows. Not everyone is in the market for that, at least not yet.
Seth Godin again:
So much pressure to be general, to be all inclusive, to aim for the middle.
That’s what meetings push you to do.
But what if you were specific instead? Precisely for you, not you. Precisely does this, not that.
When you’re specific, you only find two kinds of people: people who are delighted, and the rest.
Specific can be its own reward.
The Kitty Hawk singing dojo is the place where we are able to get specific in our cultivation of 10x the attunement, 10x the consensuality, 10x the co-enlightenment. This doesn’t mean 10x more time. As Seth observes, it’s not about more effort, it’s about more insight. Insight is born of presence, of courageous curiosity.
That’s how it seems to me. What do you think?