He has one section in the book under the heading Stay Stupid. His premise is that “smart” people see how impossible the task at hand really is and therefore never even attempt it. Ignorance is bliss, so to speak.
Pressfield writes, “Ignorance and arrogance are the artist and entrepreneur’s indispensable allies. She must be clueless enough to have no idea how difficult her enterprise is going to be — and cocky enough to believe she can pull it off anyway.”
According to Pressfield, big brains are usually the companions of tiny hearts.
I say if I have to choose one or the other, give me the big heart. Big hearts create the best art. Big hearts don’t over think things. Big hearts go for it, unafraid to fail. If you have to choose between being smart and making art, then stay stupid. Go with the big heart.
Truthfully, I used to be a lot more cocky than I am now. It was back when I was clueless, before my heart shrank. Now that I am smart I find it easier to play it safe. Thoughts like, “What if they think what I write is stupid?” and “There is a chance they will delete this without reading it,” tempt me to take my blog and go home.
If I give in to the voices then, by definition, I forfeit the game. As a kid, there was nothing worse than showing up for a game only to find out that the other team had forfeited. No show = loser.
I do not wish to be
a loser. I would rather be bad and be here than be good and stay at home.
As you approach your work today, ATTACK! Show up, be cocky, tune out the voices, and make your art — whatever it is.
We need you to contribute. You need to do it. You CAN do it.
But only if . . . you stay stupid.
Is there an area in your life where you are holding back?
Randy is an author, speaker, executive coach, and the CEO of InteGREAT Leadership. He invests his time encouraging leaders around the world.