My CMS The View from a New City

November 15, 2014


Filed under: daily,Philosophy — Lawrence Peterson @ 7:34 am

My daughter recommended that I read The Talent Code by Daniel Coyle. One of the major themes of this book is that talent and skill are the product of high motivation, persistence, and a humble willingness to address the obstacles that block the path forward. Other factors play a role but are much less important than people have imagined. Raw talent is almost never the key. He even used Mozart as an example of this thesis.

As I read the book, it occurred to me how perfect this life is as a laboratory in which to develop “talent.” As Elder H. Ross Workman once taught my Young Adult Ward, “the willing go to heaven.” He meant those willing to keep the celestial law, but I also think it means those willing to accept the difficulties of life and cheerfully, persistently learn the lessons they teach. This is very different from the image of the “towering intellect” or “genius” usually presented as the source of human wisdom. Friedrich Nietzsche’s Übermensch is as fictitious as Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. The willing go to heaven and life is the perfect prep-school.

November 5, 2014


Filed under: daily — Lawrence Peterson @ 7:41 am

On October 30th I took the eleven-year-old scouts to see Judge Bruce Luebeck at his courtroom in South Jordan.  He showed us the courtroom and the holding cell where prisoners are kept while waiting for their case to be heard.  He explained that recidivism rates are very high.  He said that sixty percent of the defendants he places on probation fail to complete their term of probation without another offense.  My five scouts seemed to enjoy the visit.

When I was young I was anxious to excel. I remember thinking how great it would be if I could freeze the whole world for a period of time while I learned what I needed to get ahead, then unstop everything and demonstrate my amazing skill. Now that I am older–“old”– excelling doesn’t seem so important. Now I fret that everyone else isn’t progressing like they should. Maybe they were frozen for a time.


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