Ira Glass, Spinning and Spirituality

Here’s a short excerpt from Ira Glass about beginning something new and creative:

When I teach spinning, I remind students there are three parts to learning anything new. First, enthusiasm: “this is something I’ve always wanted to do, it’s so exciting, I’m going to get a wheel and spin every inch of yarn for every piece of clothing I will ever use …….”

Second, despair: “I will never learn this, the thread keeps breaking, it’s so frustrating, I don’t see the point ……”

Third, perseverance: “It’s going to be OK, but I have to keep working at it. If I just keep putting in some time regularly, I will develop a feel for the fiber and the spindle. If I am objective, I can see I have made progress, and I know the next step …….”

Some considerable time later comes the stage when I hear others’ praise and compliments, but I know I have a really long way to go to before I achieve a satisfactory result! The art of teaching is balancing encouragement to be pleased with current achievement and encouragement to recognize and to want to take the next step.

These stages are true for creative artists, for writers, for anyone who is growing, and also true in spiritual or religious life.