“You will enrich your life immeasurably if you approach it with a sense of wonder and discovery, and always challenge yourself to try new things.” Nate Berkus
If you haven’t done something for fourteen years and you decided to give it a whirl, do you think you’d do the task better or worse than you did before?
I had not picked up a welding rod since 2003 when I left the industry to go into healthcare. I was in Chicago speaking at Fabtech (a massive manufacturing trade show) when I noticed they had a professional welding contest. I was invited to try my skill, and I thought, “What the heck. How bad can I be?”
The answer? Pretty darn bad. My sample went immediately to the trash heap – but not before I got a picture of it.
Later that day, I stopped by the Lincoln Electric booth where they had a virtual welding machine set up. Very cool! I was so disappointed in my lack of skill at the contest that I spent time practicing on a machine where no piece of metal had to give its life for my sorry looking bead. Did it work?
I went back to the welding booth the next day and tried it again. Voila! It’s wasn’t a contest-winning welding bead, but it was a heck of a lot prettier than the disaster I created the day before. Woo hoo!
Lessons learned? Not everything is like riding a bike. Learning an “old” skill again takes time, effort and practice. Be good to yourself. Give yourself time to learn, laugh at your mistakes and be grateful for the opportunity to succeed!
PS – You may just find that you are inspired to take up the skill, hobby, practice again – even if you’ve been away for a long, long time.
PPS – All this talk about employee engagement – has it become cliche? https://youtu.be/xnC4_DEqVtw