Monday, October 19, 2009

Apparent Risk

I happened upon a blog post published in the local Metro paper, which I'm also linking here. The author is Seth Godin, and as I read his other posts, I become more of a fan.

The post here is about Apparent Risk versus Actual Risk. To sum up, Apparent Risk is imagined consequence, whereas Actual Risk is in fact, risky. It's like staying in your comfort zone at the cost of growth vs. trying new things and chancing some bad experiences.

One of his last paragraphs in that post really got my attention: "Apparent risk is avoiding the chance that people will laugh at you and instead backing yourself into the very real possibility that you're going to become obsolete or irrelevant."

I did a post back in March here about failure and how the fear of failure is usually far worse than actually failing. The concepts of Apparent and Actual risk fit in really nicely with that idea.

I see groups who practice "traditional" kumidaiko, or ensemble drumming. Thing is, there's really not a lot of "tradition" since the art's only been around as an ensemble for about 60 years. Some of those players/groups are so concerned with playing the "right" way without considering how little "tradition" there really is. The worry about doing it "wrong" imposes a pretty hefty limitation.

I see groups who are so worried about what others will think of them that they've dug themselves into stagnation. But who are these "others" that cause so much concern? And what happens should failure happen, would those "others" laugh at your situation or is it more likely that they'd hardly notice (or care)? It's not logic at work here, it's Apparent Risk.

On a smaller scale, I see a LOT of taiko players so afraid of thinking outside the box that when they're forced to, it's a truly frightening thing. I just have to ask people this: who are your "greats"? Think of a great artist that you admire. Odds are, they didn't stick to the established norms, did they? I'll bet they didn't color inside the lines much either!

Embody that artist. What have you got to lose?

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