Want to get good at something? Do you have 'Sitzfleisch'?
I am a restless soul. To put it another way, I am an active person. I need to keep doing something. Hmmm, ok, I admit, I get distracted easily! It’s genetic, I believe. I remember my mother telling me, “I wish I could sit in one place for hours and work."
Sitting in one place and staying put until work gets done has been touted as a virtue by ‘grown up people' all through my childhood. I had always looked at it with a healthy dose of skepticism. That’s for people who are not fast. Those people must not be very active and multi-talented people like me, my mind would tell myself.
I never thought about it too much, until I came across a German word that is dedicated to the matter. That’s right, they have a entire word for the ability to sit and work in one place for a long time.
a person's buttocks.
power to endure or to persevere in an activity; stamina.
I loved it instantly. It literally means to sit on your buttocks until you get the job done! Nowadays we are constantly looking for shortcuts and easy ways. We have lost the ability to endure the boredom and pain that comes with almost any job.
Public speaking? You got sitzfleisch?
Learning the guitar? You got sitzfleisch?
Taking part in a play? You got sitzfleisch?
Want to learn coding? You got sitzfleisch?
Want to get good at chess? You got sitzfleisch?
In the words of my young friend Nisha, who is working along with another friend Dhruv on an animation project - “I’ve been watching myself and people around me. We don’t want to put hours into the work, even when we are excited about it. But this guy Dhruv has blown my mind off by not feeling shaken even after knowing the number of hours that need to go in. He just says ‘Sitzfleisch!’, and gets back to work!"
Albert Einstein said “It’s not that I am so smart, it’s just that I stay with problems longer."
Getting good at anything requires some brains, and lots of butt!
“Sitzfleisch". I’m getting back to writing one more piece!