I worked hard. Anyone who works as hard as I did can achieve the same results.

Johann Bach said this first quote, but if I didn’t know any better it could have just as easily been my dad. His passion for running, and running fast – lies second only to his passion for family. In spite of his incredible list of accomplishments – 20 Boston Marathons, numerous victories in Maine road races and beyond, university records, etc he never once claimed to have much natural talent. While this notion can be taken with a grain of salt – how could someone with little natural talent achieve so much? I saw the work he did to sculpt his dreams and it was never close to easy.

Bach's quote lives in Curriculum AUM’s Faculty 8 Care Counsel, devoted to the Atmatype of the Artist. The power of the quote stems from connecting artistic achievement to will. Art is often associated with loftiness, whimsy, and magic or pure genetic gifts in contrast to the intense work ethic it requires. Essentially, whether you set out to run 26.2 miles like my dad or compose 300 cantatas like Bach no amount of natural talent will get you there alone.

It seems only appropriate to mention Faculty 7 Care Counsel member, Kahlil Gibran, The Atmatype of the Practitioner. He says, ‘work is love made visible’. While running and composing may seem like vastly different accomplishments they each demand diligence, devotion, time and all of the tools that make a practitioner productive. When most efficiently expressed, a practitioner is on top of his to do list and knows how to accomplish each task in a timely fashion by working smarter not harder. From pounding the pavement with haste to filling a musical staff with brilliance, love for any chosen craft becomes most clear through the work of our inner artists and practitioners.

Lastly, Curriculum AUM is full of acronyms that distill the meaning of words we use often in order to enrich their value. W.illfully O.cassion R.ight K.arma offers that by mastering will, we can guide or own journey, that is is not predetermined – by whimsy, magic, genetics or other extenuating factors.

This gives me hope. Like my father and perhaps Bach I dream of things far greater than magic, serendipity or genetics may allow me to achieve. But I believe in work and I believe in the ability to affect my personal karma. We can occasion that opportunity.

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