Thursday, May 13, 2010

The Art of the Apprentice

Once upon a time, the normal process for learning a new skill or trade was for the person who wanted to learn to apprentice with someone who had established a reputation for excellence.

Companies today seem less interested in making any such arrangements. They want people who either are already experts to just jump in as contractors and hit the ground running or hire absolute beginners with very limited skills who possess the virtue of being available for cheap wages.

So it is in our personal endeavors that we will have more of an opportunity to create an apprentice experience.

Although apprenticeship could refer to people learning skills from carpentry to masonry, it would also refer to a person learning how to cook well enough to become a chef or a master brewer. There are those who apprentice to learn how to be master gardeners or herbalists.

The term can also be used relative to a person learning a musical instrument, a sport, and also in learning hobbies like sewing, glasswork, carving, beadwork or pottery.

Apprenticeship also has a long history in esoteric learning, such as those who want to learn witchcraft or shamanism, those who want to learn tarot, astrology, kabbalah, runes, magic and spiritual healing.

Being an apprentice is about a devotion to excellence. The true apprentice desires to learn to perfrom their chosen endeavor as well as it can be done, and are always interested in learning more about it.

A person who is truly an apprentice knows that there is always more to be learned through practice and study,, so that no matter how recognized they are for their abilities, they know that they do not know it all. So there is a certain amount of humility and quiet pride that characterizes the person who apprentices.

At a certain point, such a person will be recognized as having mastery of their chosen skills. That may come in the form of official recognition and it may also come in the form of recognition by those who employ them or appreciate the beauty and excellence they display in their endeavors.

To be an apprentice in any field is a joy and a way that gives focus to a person's energies. Rewards eventually come to those who choose to take up the art of the apprentice. At some point along their path, they savor the satisfaction of a job well done, and the adulation of those who recognize it.

If you are not getting a deep level of satisfaction in life, consider the art of the apprentice as a path to pursue. You can apprentice in absolutely any field you choose. Anything and everything, from sexual pleasure to embroidery, from tarot reading to picture framing, from home building to auto repair, from software design to stand up comedy, from drumming to belly dance and anything else you can imagine can be areas that a person can choose as a vehicle for their apprenticeship.

The art of the apprentice is a vehicle for getting more out of life.

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