Saturday, November 21, 2009

The 2% Solution, part 2

  • Did you ever get rusty at having fun?
  • Did you need to be coached on joy?
  • Have you practiced at being happy?
Our joy is the 98% that fills in the 2% talent that many of us have, making tango our 100%

In part one of the 2% solution, we considered the idea of having 2% talent as a tango dancer, and how many dancers with little talent become good dancers. Filling the 98% gap is helped by three things: Having a coach, practicing alone and practicing with others. But these three things are not the real solution. The solution is JOY.

Many people who HAVE talent never become good dancers.  They hide their light. On the other hand those who do not have talent become good to great dancers because of their joy in dance. They work at having fun. I believe those who work at anything because of joy will excel in life. The majority of good dancers in most communities started with 2% talent. I am one of those who out of joy is improving in spite of my talent deficit.

Joy is the answer
I took a long to time to get to the real 2% solution, I know. But since so many believe that having talent, a coach and practicing a lot will be the path to being good, it was only fair to see why they are NOT the solution.

Losing Joy
The most disheartening thing is to try to change the thing you cannot change. You cannot change how much talent you have. Surely, one can practice and find a coach, but what is the point if we don’t know that the real issue is joy?  So, find mastery with the talent you do have. Enjoy your practice but find a coach that helps you practice at the best level of your talent (not at the level you SHOULD dance). Find a coach that inspires you and helps you on the path to maintaining your joy. It is joy, not fundamentalistic Tango-as-Righteous-Religion, that is the work of a good coach. Such coaches who take care of your joy quotient are rare. Most coaches – even the best of the best – do not know that their most important commodity is teaching people how to have JOY and to maintain JOY. So look around!

We need all the help we can get because joy is often elusive. A coach can take it away, practicing with people or alone can take it away. So you will need to protect your love of tango. A good tango community is the best environment for this, just as a loving group of friends, family and community helps most people to grow spiritually.

Find your own 2% solution. Find the people who give you joy. Three women at the Tango Siempre Milonga last night told me that they were rusty even before we started dancing. I asked them, “Are you rusty at having fun?”

“Well, no!”

“Then if you have fun, you are dancing 100% in my book.”

And it was fun. It was the 98% piece joined with 2% talent solution.

If you don’t mind dancing with a mediocre dancer (in the life-long process of trying to become good), please do some “pro bono” work, and dance with me at the next milonga. There is lots of work-at-joy to do. Add to the joy that keeps others and yourself coming back to gain mastery at JOY while out on a tango walk. That’s the other 98% of the 2% solution.

1 comment:

whipple said...

Mark, there's nothing pro bono about dancing with you imo. Each to their own of course, but you're fun in my book and your musicality is just a pleasure.