As we talk every day about improvement and generating personal and professional outcomes in our lives, we often think about it very formally. While making progress might seem most urgent and necessary in key areas of your life, I want to remind you that we’re constantly making progress in everything we do. And there’s even value to seeking improvement in not so important areas of your life, because it refreshes you on some of the fundamentals.
For that reason, it could be really valuable to be a beginner at something. I feel like we have this pressure to be great at everything we do, and when we abide by that we lose sight of a lot of opportunity to grow. Whether you pick up a new hobby you enjoy like playing guitar, painting, or writing poetry... Or want to learn a new skill like how to change a flat tire, there is a lot of value from starting at the very beginning with something.
First, the task gets you thinking in new ways. Doing new behaviors activates new areas of your brain, making connections that might be helpful in other areas of your life. Second, it’s humbling. Embracing something that you’re not good at reminds you that there’s so much to learn, and it gives you a new-found appreciation for those who are good in that area and the work they put in to develop it.
Then probably most importantly, it teaches you all over again how good it feels to get better at something. This is because when it comes to learning new things, you can get a lot better very quickly. In a matter of hours you can feel the results of progress, and be inspired to continue developing other areas of your life knowing that the work you’re putting in is helping to generate improved results.
So be the beginner! Take some time this week to do something new - Learn how to fold origami, play a new sport, I don’t care! - and let the fulfillment of fast progress motivate you to push on!