I often hear people who say I’ve always wanted to do (insert desired activity)
but I’m too old now, or it’s too late for me because I’ve invested too much time in what I’m doing now.
‘Too much’ and ‘too late’ are relative terms. And sure it can be dependent on context and whatever is going on in your life.
However, lets suppose there’s no obstacles preventing you from doing it, except for your belief that’s holding you back.
What makes you think you are unable to? Or Whose voice do you hear in your mind questioning your desires?
Is it yours or someone else?
What is it YOU
Did you know the two of the most common regrets of the dying are:
I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me?
I wish I had let myself be happier?
The Good News
You are alive! And the only thing that is holding you back is your mindset.
You can learn anything you want to.
What it comes down to is what would it mean for you to be able to (insert desired activity)
? What feeling would it give you? How important is it to you? What are you willing to do?
They say your brain is like a muscle. Through regular repetition, persistency, practice you can develop new skills and habits.
What happens is often when things get hard and we start struggling, we throw in the towel. But like anything, it takes time, attitude and effort.
Last summer I was in the U.K. and a friend took me to her ceroc class, and there was an old man who was probably in his 70s learning how to dance.
I asked him how long has he been dancing?
He said just recently.
I asked him what got him dancing?
He said I’ve always wanted to dance, and when my wife passed, my daughter took me here. It’s so much fun and even though I’m a bit slow and not very good, I can still move my twinkle toes. 🙂
I had the opportunity to meet an American stand up comedian at his London show. We had a brief conversation and we were talking about what led him to pursue stand up. Was it always something he wanted to do? What is it like to get up on stage not knowing how the audience is going to react?
And he said he was always the comedian in class and half of his life he spent searching for what he wanted to do, what his ‘it’
might be. He took on various odd jobs, listening to people telling him stand up is a tough gig, do you really want to do that?
Until he was like, I have nothing else really going on, I enjoy making people laugh and have always been good at it, why not give it a go and see what happens.
So he moved to LA and learned his way around show biz, mastering his craft of being a comedian, and now he’s doing what he loves where he has his own show on Comedy Central and has performed on Jimmy Fallon, Carson Daly and Conan.
We all start at zero.
We were all born into this world not knowing a whole lot and started learning.
From learning to take in food, to walking, to learning about different subjects, how to socialize, to ‘fit in’ to whatever construct you were raised with.
Speaking for myself, when I graduated from university, I was so elated. I thought, Yes! I am done with learning because it felt like I have spent my whole life learning.
Until I realized how naïve I was and quickly learned, I’m not done. Life is a constant learning process. There’s always something to learn. I will never be done.
What’s awesome now though is I’m a bit wiser now (so I believe) and know that I can choose what I want to learn, how much time I’m willing to put into something, the investment I’m willing to make in myself. And what is good enough for me, how proficient would I like to get.
This in itself lies freedom. Freedom to choose what I want to learn. And in learning new things, it gives me options, which can be also seen as freedom.
“You are only as free as your alternatives. If you have no alternative, you have no freedom. “ – Brian Tracy
The Bad News
Learning takes times and it takes effort.
And this is what deters people from taking the step in the first place. It is most often the reason people start and then call it quits when things get tough.
So it’s really important to understand yourself, what you want to learn, why you want to learn something? To what extent will it be good enough for you?
For me coaching and helping people open themselves to a possibility to more than they ever knew is my passion. Because of this, I will forever be immersed in learning how I can become a better coach and working on myself.
On the other hand, part of my business runs on maintaining my blog and website, and so I had to learn about website management and development. But my interest lies only at the most basic level, on an as need to know basis. I have no desire to become a ‘master’ in this at all. So I outsource someone to help me with the technical side of things.
It’s not too late to learn and do anything.
With a good attitude, practice, and knowing your why, you can learn anything you put your mind to the extent you are willing to commit to.
You can decide how you want to learn, where you want to learn, how much you want to learn, to how you want to define what learning means to you.
It’s easier than ever to learn today. Google and You Tube is at your fingertips, there are heaps of free and affordable online courses that are available through online educational platforms such as Coursera, Udemy, Lynda. Recently, I discovered my local library offers free membership that gives you access to an array of books, CDs, DVDs, audio books that are readily available to be borrowed. Of course, I’m sure in some cities you may need to pay a fee, but I’ll bet the fee is nominal and for what it’s worth you’d be able to access the resources that’s available.
If there’s been something you’ve been putting off to learn or do and have always really wanted to take a crack at, take the first step and look into it.
Today is as perfect of a time to learn something new.
Photo by Lukas Budimaier