As an awkward pimply teenager who towered over his classmates, I never did try dancing on stage. All kinds of reasons zoomed around in my head as well as my gangly body’s evident lack of coordination during those years – and some would say ever since:) I shut out the idea of my body trying to move in a co-ordinated pattern as absurd. It wasn’t going to happen as I wouldn’t like it.
Five years later I am in my graduation year of high school and my friends were auditioning for the school play as dancers. I knew I wouldn’t enjoy it but wanted to hang with my friends so I went to the audition and to my surprise, I got a part. To my total surprise, the next two months of rehearsals and performances were some of the best times I ever had. I felt great! How could this be? I had already decided I wouldn’t like dancing? Fast forward 30 years and I was actually a dancer in the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver. Lesson learned – thoughts alone are not enough for you to decide if you are going to like something you – you need to feel it, try it.
This need to have a ‘try mindset’ is never more important than ever when transitioning to work-optional life when there will be increased opportunities to discover new hobbies, interests and careers. Dismissing an idea without trying it is like saying you won’t like a recipe just by the ingredients – the magic happens when you put everything together in motion.
So what activities or pursuits have you summarily dismissed just through thought? Comb through that list and give some of them a try. It is through trying that we discover things we truly love and never knew. Until I was 27, I had a pathological fear of speaking in public (can you relate). Without trying that first presentation at a senior’s home 33 years ago, I would have never found one of my life’s most compelling passions and my career.
When you give something new an actual try, drop me a line and let me know how it went. It took J.K. Rowling almost 100 publishers to find the right one for Harry Potter, and Harlan Sanders over 60 restaurants to find the first home for KFC. Trying new things gets you closer to the real magic of your life.