I’ve been thinking about how we generally approach the idea of doing something new. Taking on a new project, learning a new skill or just trying something different. Often times we go into these types of things with the idea of learning and practising in order to get better at those things, perhaps even to master the skill in time.
That’s a great goal to have, but I believe that there are additional things to consider. Many of us have preconceived notions of what we are good at and what we aren’t good at. Those thoughts often factor greatly into our choices of the things we are going to try. You may think you don’t have any ability in music, or math, or art or any number of other things. And maybe that’s true, and maybe it’s not. I would argue that it shouldn’t matter though!
Doing new things, trying out new ideas, and learning new skills should be taken on just for the sake of trying them! There are so many benefits to doing things that are a bit outside of your comfort zone, and none of them have to include becoming an expert or even proficient at the thing you decide to try.
They should be taken on simply for the sake of trying something new and different. There are a number of benefits to be realized.
For one, many people feel a sense of joy when they allow a new type of experience to take themselves over for a little while. That newness itself is refreshing and uplifting.
At the same time new experiences often involve meeting new people, making new friends and enjoying new and different conversations.
As well, doing something new often allows us to start to see other parts of our life in a slightly different way. It provides an alternative viewpoint that we will naturally integrate into our ways of thinking over time, making us more balanced and well-rounded in the way that we approach our lives.
Plus I find there is generally a natural boost in our own creative abilities when we allow new experiences to affect us. All of the different people, ideas and learning that we interact with gives us new ways of seeing things, but also new ways of thinking of ideas and using those to improve all areas of our lives.
Perhaps you’re a scientist, maybe one who doesn’t really think of themselves as a “creative type” in the stereotypical artsy sense. But your job involves coming up with new ideas, new processes to test out new theories. There is creativity implicit in this. And perhaps learning to paint, play an instrument, learning a new language, or learning to cook might just open up a new pathway to an idea that becomes instrumental in your primary work.
So my recommendation to start is to think of something that you have a feeling you might enjoy – just for the sake of doing it. Try to let go of any requirement for becoming really good or an expert, and give yourself permission to try and fail spectacularly! When you’ve done that and discover the joy in the process, maybe push yourself further and try something that you think you really wouldn’t like. You may just learn something that makes your life better!
If you want some ideas for little things you can do along these lines check out my Rogue Artist project page.