Being Misunderstood

David Whyte on importance of being misunderstood
david whyte

April 5, 2022

I really enjoyed the David Whyte’s Clear Mind, Wild Heart.

About 2/3 in, he said something that reshaped how I go about exploring the world.

Being ok with being misunderstood at the beginning is important. New ideas need to be protected and nurtured.

when you actually tell others what your secret desires are - in your work, in your life.

a good diagnostic feature that you are doing something unique - something that is true to the complexion your character - is that other people should not understand entirely what you are doing

and if they do understand completely the direction you are going, you might want to think about it actually - and you think it might be the right direction after all

because it is too available - it is too common - it is too much a life that anyone can lead

i take it actually as a complement if people do not completely understand what you are about. because when you think about it, we are a mystery even into ourselves - and it is only in depths of the conversation that the fruits of your labor can be harvested

This combines with another video Jake Dahn shared me on Idea Vessels, which starts:

ideas are weak

they need to be protected

the internet which briefly was a hospitable place has become capricious and hostile

if an idea is going to survive in such an inhospitable environment it needs a form of armored transport

specifically powerful vessels that can ferry it from your minds to that of a wider audience

now there are many different types of idea vessels:

some are small tweet light contraptions which are generally holding simpler fleeting ideas

and some vessels are large film like containers which work best for robust statements and hypotheses

it is very import for a vessels magnitude to be appropriately choosen based on the substance in the shape of the idea

matching the idea with the right vessel is almost important as the idea itself

and all vessells regardless of size need to be built

The importance of the idea vessel re-enforces that the creation process and the communication process are different..
Trying to be understood too early can be counterproductive.

Be comfortable in being misunderstood - and create your own ideas and vessels.