Fred Mandell Author.Artist.Speaker.Creative Catalyst

Recent Bloutchers

Recent Bloutchers

3 Random Thoughts on Self Mastery, Change and Beauty

In This Bloutcher

Where Art, Life and Leadership Collide

  • Self Mastery or Self Empowerment
  • Change or Wholeness
  • Beauty

Self Mastery or Self Empowerment.

The term self mastery is often thrown around.  I have trouble with this concept.  Not that it is not a worthy aspiration. And there is a long tradition of striving for self mastery. I just don’t think you ever get there.  I don’t think you ever can.  Self mastery smacks of a hubristic illusion of perfection.  We are, after all, imperfect so even any version of self mastery we aspire to must also be imperfect.

I prefer the idea of self empowerment.  It’s a bit more humble, more grungy but not passive.  There’s no excess pride in it—just good old fashioned hard work. 

Change or Wholeness.

There’s much in the air today about personal change and transformation.  Call it the Make-Over Syndrome.  Really?  I don’t think so.  Even for those who seek personal change, who wish to tap into their many as yet undeveloped gifts—I think at the end of the day it’s really about becoming more whole as a person. We have it in us.  We just need to reconnect, call its name and bring it forth.


There’s really so much beauty in the world.  So why have we stopped talking about it?  Why have we allowed the language of Economic Man to smoosh the language of beauty and replace it with such dominating terms as growth and productivity and efficiency and shareholder value?  In our post modern world, ever since (1917) Marcel Duchamp hung a urinal on the wall and called it “Fountain,” it seems we are embarrassed by any conversation regarding the place of beauty in our world.  Such language is “so yesterday.”  So the language of Economic Man fills the void.  But beauty speaks to the human spirit and so it is not only our language that gets diminished by our embarrassment, but our very soul.


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