Zen & the Art of Work – Review part 1

The review

This is the first article in what will be an extensive review of Kourosh Dini's "Zen & the Art of Work". The idea is to go through the impressive product that Kourosh created and explain how it is relevant to me. Of course, your mileage may vary.

Video 01 – Introduction

The entire series is very meta

One of the first things I noted is that Kourosh applies the concepts he teaches in the entire structure of the product that "Zen & the Art of Work" is. The way the videos are developed and can be consumed leads to focused concentration in a calm manner. Quite meta, but quite impressive.

This first video is actually an introduction to the course, as the title states. Kourosh explains who could use this course and why it is relevant. The objective of the entire course is made very clear: at the end of the course, if you put in the time and the effort, you will learn how to find a calm state that allows you to do meaningful, important work.

In essence, this course will teach you how to have a "mind like water", as David Allen described it.

The series of videos leads you through both explanations and exercises. It offers the concepts, then gives you the opportunity, through an example of your own choosing, to apply these ideas. That's a relevant approach, because of the medium. This can be done in a book, but is a lot more difficult.

What I learned

While an introduction, Kourosh actually offers some very important ideas in this first session, this first sitting:

  • We do our best work when we can focus, which is a state contrary to distraction. And distracted we are, most of the time. When distracted, our tools control us. When focused, we use our tools to our advantage as they assist us in doing the work.
  • To get to that focus, we need to find the flow state, to be in the moment. A good way to reach that is through play, as all kids do. This is something we have abandoned, or forgotten, but we can still access that state.
  • The way to do that is one of the goals the course aims for. We do it by building an environment that allows play to occur.

The course provides a scaffolding for accessing a capability we have lost and that we only stumble into by accident.

Next session

The second video is titled "choosing your focus." I'll be reviewing it in a few days.