My 5 year old son recently discovered his affinity for drawing and coloring. He now wants to do it all the time, and that makes me a very happy father. At first, he had to overcome the frustration of learning how to hold his crayons correctly and keep his scribbles inside the lines. After much practice (and overcoming the temptation to quit), his creativity takes over and he doesn't hesitate to sit down and create his next masterpiece. He's very curious about all the things he can draw.
His efforts earned him a family trip to the LACMA this weekend. At the tender age of 5, one might wonder if he'd care or get bored. Navigating a matrix of rubber tubes or watching a movie on samurai sword making, his eyes of wonder told the value of the trip. Through exposures like this ... he discovers ... he imitates ... he improvises ... and he ultimately creates. I want him to see how amazing the world is, and that he can discover any part of it. This was an underpinning I was blessed to receive from my parents, and I'm especially conscious to pass it along to my son.
As I witness my son's journey of discovery, I'm reminded of the important lessons we should also embrace in our adulthood ...
1. How can we maintain a 'child-like' attitude when discovering new things ... and avoid allowing our baggage to pervade the moment. Baggage comes in many forms ... our comfort zone, our biases, fear of failure, judgement, skepticism, etc. Maybe we can learn how to give our baggage the back seat and be more open to child-like discover, no matter how spontaneous the discoveries come.
2. How can we make it a regular habit to try something new ... every day, every week, every month. Sometimes we have to purposely interrupt our regular routine by prioritizing a change in pace. Maybe I'll try a morning run when I'm not a morning person. Maybe, I'll try that art class on the other side of town. Maybe I'll take a weekend trip to a city I've always been curious about.
3. When we find those things that really resonate with us, are we prepared to make an effort to find out more? It's not by accident that you felt that way, and it's worth digging a bit more to see what's there. Maybe your discovery becomes a new hobby ... maybe you meet someone who shares the same curiosity ... maybe you find a doorway to help someone ... and maybe this becomes your career.
4. When we find that "something" and aim to want to do more of it, are we prepared to overcome the initial frustrations that set in when things get difficult. Practice does make perfect. Mastering the fundamentals will lead you to a place where you'll eventually think less about "holding the crayon", and more about letting your new "something" take you to new places.
Be child-like ... make a habit of seeking new exposure ... dig deeper when it resonates ... practice that thing that moves your spirit ... and new doors of opportunity will surely open up to you.
Let me know what new discoveries you've made recently ... and how you prioritize getting after your curiosities. Let's help each other do better about following through on them. Who knows, it might become our life's work. If we don't try, we'll never know.
Peace, love and blessings. k.g.b.