When I was a kid I hated asparagus. Why? I thought the name sounded awful. What a dumb reason!I tried it as an adult and it is now my favorite vegetable. I eat it three or four days a week. Same with baby spinach. I tried canned spinach as a child and hated it. Fresh spinach is worlds away from the canned variety. I just assumed that all spinach tasted the same. Big mistake.
The fact is, every thing you now enjoy was once a new experience. You now eat chocolate because you gave it a try years ago. You train in martial arts because you had the courage to try something new, even though at the back of your mind you thought, “maybe I’ll get hurt or look like a fool”. See my recent post, Martial Arts | Ego is Not Your Friend.
I never tried to draw anything for most of my 52 years of life. Why? Because someone at some stage of my early school years told me I was a “rubbish artist”. I believed it. Recently I tried Chinese Calligraphy and taught myself to draw using a tracing method. I’m not going to be another Picasso, but I’m not bad, and I’ve discovered calligraphy and drawing are very useful skills. And like the martial arts, these activities are very Zen in that you are “in the moment” when doing them. They are extremely relaxing activities.
I am now learning and teaching MMA. It has been especially rewarding as I can see how it ties everything together in the martial arts. It has given me new focus and enthusiasm for the martial arts and for learning. I’ve had parents tell me their children are really jazzed about MMA. A bonus—it gets you fit big time.
A wise teacher once said to me as a kid, “don’t waste your precious time watching other people live their lives on TV. Get out there and live your own! Take a chance and try something new. The world is a big place and there are many places to see and things to do. Your life will be better for it.