Charles Starrett


Blog, links, and…

Culture consultant & social tech teacher/facilitator at SoulCo & Northeastern University. He/Him. Dad, Harvard and NEC alum, visual thinker, dabbler in ukulele, electronic music, 한국어, and TTRPGs.


No process, no progress

The Zen Buddhist teacher Thich Nhat Hanh was fond of saying, “No mud, no lotus.” One way to interpret that is to say that without the muddiness that is part of living an engaged life, the beautiful results of living an engaged life are not possible.

It’s the same with all the advice in business books, blog posts, and quote cards. What all those authors tend to describe is the result (or the lotus) that grows out of a long and messy process.

No matter how good the advice, we can’t follow it just because we know about it, any more than we can grow a lotus just by knowing what a lotus is. To be able to do what the authors are describing, we need to develop the skills and the capacity to be present and aware of ourselves, others around us, and our environment, from moment to moment to moment.

And when we develop the skills and the capacity to do that, then we don’t need anyone to tell us what to do next. We know what to do.

So at the end of the day, there is no progress without engaging with the process—the process of learning skills and growing capacity through commitment.

29 August 2022

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