It’s common to want to be able to acquire a certain skill, to master something of meaning or something cool in order to impress other people. We all look up to people who are incredibly good at a trait that for us seems unfathomable for us to even try to accomplish. It’s always beautiful to see someone who’s mastered his craft, that has put in his or hers 10000 hours and can make a living out of that thing that they’ve become so great at. We often want to be like the people we see on tv, movies or on social media doing all this kind of things.

But one thing that’s so commonly overlooked when it comes to these people of mastery is that we see an end product. We see the culmination of hours upon hours of execution done over many years. We see the pinnacle of their craft in their showreel. We get to see the highlights, you can even compare this with what we see in everyday life with social media. You’re not posting about when you cry or looking like shit usually do you? No I didn’t think so.

Here starts a problem for many people, when we just see the end product of someones mastery we easily forget the journey and the time that they’ve taken to get to that level. We compare ourselves with this and say to ourselves that we could never replicate what these people are doing.

Everything we do in the same field as we have seen these great feats is never quite enough and feels like it will always fall short. It’s commonly said that comparison is the thief of joy. And sometimes comparing ourselves with someone that we’ve put up on the pedestal can rob us of wanting to even try to begin.

If there’s one thing that I’ve realised during my journey when it comes to this topic it is this: Instead of trying to be like this person that we admire, try to have fun and do your own thing instead. Because if it’s not fun or gaining your life with something positive why even pursue this thing that you’re trying to master?

I try to see people as an inspiration instead, to see these people as a beacon for me to aim for but not necessarily become. What has stopped me earlier in life is the fear of failing and not being good enough. But you are the only one setting the bar for that, no one else does.

I hear so many times: “Oh no I can’t sing.” or “Oh no I can’t dance.” or “Nah I can’t run run with you I’m too slow”. All this are lies. Except if you are mute or paralyzed from the neck down, then I’ll believe that you can’t sing, dance or go on a run with me. Everybody can sing, dance and run. But the thing that stops people is being too much in their head. Everybody can utter a tone and everybody can move their body to a song on the dancefloor. It’s when we get caught in judging ourselves compared to others where we do wrong. Of course you can sing, it might not sound like Adele or Chris Martin but of course you can sing. The same goes for your dance moves, you might not be a Michael Jackson but I bet you can move your hip in some kind of way.

The same thing goes for when people say that they can’t run with me. I do marathons and ultras occasionally and it’s fascinating every time when people say that they can’t run with me because of how much training I do. That has nothing to do with it at all. If I want to run with you at your pace that’s my choice but I’ve had people being afraid of being to slow to run with me which I think is bullshit.

You have to start to become good but you don’t have to be good to start. Read that sentence again out loud. If you want to get somewhere in life you have to take that first step. It won’t magically appear that you can do a marathon after 3 jogging sessions. You won’t benchpress 150kg after your first week at the gym. You have to become humbled and realise that you are a newbie.

For those who have a dirty mind this chapter could have another meaning. The art of sucking, unfortunately I have sucked a too small amount of dicks in my hetero male life to be able to instruct someone how to suck proper dick. That’s not my expertise, sorry to disappoint you there. But the art of sucking that I’m referring to is the courage and enthusiasm to remain a beginner at things in life. To constantly strive to find new ways of evolving and new things to conquer and master. To be humble enough to realise that life has so much more things to teach you. What’s interesting with learning a new thing is that the first period the learning curve is quite fast and then it pans out over time. And that we after a short time think that we’ve got this, we’ve nailed the subject or the art that we’ve taken on. But the more you come to learn about one thing or life in general the more we realise that we don’t know. That the amount of knowledge out there to acquire in the field you are choosing almost never stops.

And that’s the beauty of life, that we never stop learning new things and that there’s always more things to take in and embrace. As long as you’re moving forward and learning new things in life you are growing. As soon as you stop learning new things and start to see life like you already know it all then it’s time to rethink life. If you reach this point you are probably quite stagnant and in need of a new perspective.

When we do go out to learn a new thing, be ready to get nervous, feel anxious, out of place, like an imposter. Embrace it. It’s all part of the process of becoming. Embrace those feelings of awkwardness until that feeling subsides and gets replaced with a sense of familiarity and safety. Keep on pushing, keep on learning.

Reflection time:
When was the last time you tried something new? When was the last time that you did something that you’d wanted to do for a long time but was afraid of even trying? Maybe it’s time to sign up for the pianolessons, hit the gym, or ask that man/woman out that you’ve wanted to do for a long time. Let’s get it!

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Much Love.