The Beauty of Living All Over the Learning Curve
Tomorrow, I begin Cuban Salsa Dancing.
I will be at the absolute start of the learning curve. Not only that, I missed the first two classes so I'll be behind all the other beginners.
I can already smell the humble pie.
But tomorrow I will also drive, which I've been doing for over 15 years, use a computer (20+ years), write a Lightning Notes post (3+ years), make tea (poorly: 15+ years, better: 2ish years). I will do plenty of things where I'm further along on the learning curve.
And that's somewhat intentional. I aim for my life to be well distributed over the learning curve. A blend of things where I'm really experienced, mildly experienced, and totally inexperienced.
And this last part is the one I need to tend to the most. There's a powerful human inclination to gravitate towards what we know, won't fail or fall short at. If we let that inclination rule the roost, it can be a recipe for stagnancy.
So, here's a question I like to help counter that: Where in my life am I beginner?
Because when I'm a beginner, the edges of my comfort zone are being pushed out. So, too, the edges of my thinking. Neither of which feels particularly comfortable, but comfort won't counter stagnancy. Growth - ungraceful as it may be - will.
And if I can lead more with my curiosity and less with my ego, being new to something can be rip-roaring fun. There are body-folded-over laughs to be had when building your first cabinet, playing your first song on the ukulele, speaking your first Swahili phrase.
There's another piece, too: Those times when we are the experienced ones in the room, we can greet those who are just beginning with a compassionate hand. Because we know their discomfort, their vulnerability.
Best I can tell, being a regular beginner is good for the human spirit. Ours, and those around us.
So here's to the bold life that's lived all over the learning curve.