Our Undervalued Abilities
Recently, a friend of mine blew the roof off of how I think about ability.
We were talking about a project I was working on. It's totally outside my skill set, I told her. I have no experience in making stuff like this.
My friend, an artist who consistently steps out of her lane in a world where we're told to stay in our lane, said she understood. Then she said this:
Technical ability and experience aren't the only abilities it takes to make something worthwhile. We overvalue those abilities, she continued, at the expense of other abilities.
Then we got to talking about how newness, curiosity, enthusiasm are unsung abilities. And the more I thought about it, the more I thought that often, those abilities are what move art forms, movements, policies, whole industries, really anything, forward.
When we don't have experience in an area, we don't know the limits of that area. We aren't subservient to them yet. And we can act from a wider field of possibility than those who are.
Which means those wild ideas and huge-dream projects, those big bites of life, aren't impossible. If, as my friend taught me, we honor the ability - however undervalued it may be - that we do bring to them.
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