I was sure I would hate writing this piece. Well, I was wrong.
Yesterday for lunch I met with ex-colleagues I had not seen since I had left my job a little over a year ago. When asked the inevitable question about what’s going on in my life, I realized how transformative that last year was.
The turning point was probably ten months ago when I decided I would learn three new skills every month. That completely shattered my belief system about myself and the world. Skill learning, then, somewhat became one of my greatest joy in life and I became much more driven.
It’s when I had this mindset shift that I started revisiting the things I thought were not for me. What if, somehow, with my new-found skills, I could end up liking them?
And that’s the lesson here:
Regularly try things before judging them. Start from a positive attitude and you’ll realize that everything’s not all bad!
1. Writing non-fiction
I don’t know about you, but my University almost killed writing for me — reports after reports on subjects I was forced to write about. It’s almost ten years later that I decided it was the time for me to step up my writing game as part of the 3 skills I learn every month. I thought that writing every day for a month would be a chore, but it turns out I couldn’t stop writing after a month. I’ve been doing it for 9 months now and don’t see myself stopping any time soon.
Of all the things on this list, this is probably the one I was sure I would hate the most, even though many successful people do it and Benjamin P. Hardy swears by it. When I finally bit the bullet and bought a pen and a notebook and started writing in it, I realized I had so much in my head I needed to clear, without ever realizing it. In my first session alone, I wrote for 3 hours straight!
3. Writing fiction
For at least 15 years, I haven’t read a fiction novel. I guess then it makes sense for me to 1) not be interested in doing it myself, and 2) feeling like I could probably not pull it off. Well, it turns out all those years playing video games was not all a waste. I wrote my own stories for Soul Reaper, my game, and for Viking Boutique. And, even though I find it hard, I’m thoroughly enjoying writing fiction. It’s a way for me to escape reality and express my creativity.
I had disdain for broccoli, for, truthfully, I have no idea. Maybe it was the idea that I was eating a miniature tree? Who knows… Turns out, when I was doing research on great healthy foods while I was working out back in January, I understood its benefits and decided to give it a go. Well, broccoli is secretly amazing! I’ve rarely seen a vegetable that absorbs all the flavours from all the other ingredients it sits with. Broccoli is now in a lot of my meals.
During the same time as above, I realized that asparagus also had great benefits. And because I was too afraid to eat broccoli, the second best I could find for me was asparagus. I wasn’t happy with that discovery, but you know what? When you don’t overcook them, they’re actually quite good!
6. Business Networking
I’m an introvert. Networking, for me, is “against my nature”. But lately, I’ve come to realize that I might be an ambivert, the middle-ground between introvert and extrovert. Before living in Spain, I dreaded the idea of joining events and talking to strangers. When I managed to mostly overcome that fear, business networking is surprisingly addictive.
7. Video chatting with “strangers”
The first time I was approached to chat with someone online, I was taken aback. Now, I said “yes” because it was a writer I truly respect on Medium.com, but it was a first for me. I write a lot, but when it comes to having genuine discussions, I feared my conversations would run dry quickly. I was wrong. We’re still frequently in touch and always have things to say. I did it with other writers on Medium.com and outside and it has always been great.
For the longest time, that was the skill I thought there was no way I would ever learn since I’m a logical person after all. Well, like any skill, you can learn it, no matter how impossible you think it is in your head. Drawing was the first skill I wanted to pick up when I started learning 3 new skills a month. I poured my heart and soul into it every morning and made serious progress using Youtube tutorials.
Here’s an example after about three weeks (the original sketch is not my own):
That, along with Journaling, was something I thought would be dumb. At least for me. I can’t shut that monkey brain of mine, so I was sure meditation would not work on me. What I didn’t realize was that it’s a skill, and you can learn to be better at it. When I did get better at it, I was hooked. Now I wish I’d do it more regularly, but I still do it when I need it.
10. Power napping
I wrote about power napping quite a few times. It’s something I do almost every day and has sort of became my superpower. As an eternal insomniac, power napping is a skill that took me years to perfect. It took so long that I really wanted to give up, but I’m glad I pushed through. Power napping is the only way I can have enough energy to go through my afternoons and function at peak state.
11. Leg Workouts
Is it just me or leg workouts just don’t seem as enticing as upper body workouts? People talk about squats, lunges, etc. They never appealed to me, until one day, I tried different variants and saw results for the first time in my life. I had given up on growing my legs but discovering those changed my life.
In Canada, rock-climbing is all the rage, with gyms opening up every week. I had been wanting to try it out for a long time, but I’m afraid of heights, so I was sure it wouldn’t be for me. But I tried bouldering and it was amazing. The problems are not high, but are highly technical — perfect for my logical brain!
- What are some things you thought you wouldn’t like but ended up liking?
- What made you change your mind?
- Why did you revisit doing it in the first place?
Let us know in the comments below!
Life is too short for hate. Try things. A lot of times you’ll realize it’s not as bad as you thought it would be. Start everything with a positive mindset. It’s okay not to like everything, but life is so damn better when you concentrate on loving things!
You can do this!
Thanks for reading, clapping, and sharing! :)