New Year

Why I will not tell you to try something new.

I am not an artist, though I have tried to paint a few times. Painting seems so simple and unrestricted to me. I would think it relaxing, with the mixing of colors and the lack of prescribed perfection. For whatever reason, I struggle to get the image in my head, to be mirrored onto canvas. I gave up trying so long ago. Recently there have been a rise in paint night events. People pay to join a group of others essentially taking a paint class together. They have become very popular. I joined a few friends for one of these events one night, just to get out together. The paint night was relaxing,a glass of wine will do that for you, and the company of three other girlfriends helped to take the pressure off a perceived “final product”. Guess what!? My painting was awesome! it was so beautiful. We were given step by step instructions with far less technical jargon than any other class I have taken. All in all;  just a good time. This is what I always thought art should be. You should have seen the creativity in the room. We all painted the same scene with the same instructions but the final products were so different.


It got me thinking. I must applaud more recent generations. Though I read so much negativity about how things are so “out of control” and “these kids today just don’t understand…:” One must admit they are good at getting out of their comfort zone and thinking outside the box. We have successful entrepreneurs who have never gone to college, new inventions being pitched on a TV show watched by many, people jumping out of perfectly good airplanes and sometimes it seems everyone is dancing to the beat of their own drum. We have a very innovative culture. One filled with people not afraid to shake things up and try new things, even try old things in a new way.


That being said, one skill seems to be missing in this generation. Persistence. Persistence is defined in the dictionary as, continuing in a course of action in spite of difficulty or opposition. This simply means, one keeps going even when they have hit a wall. After college, I worked with struggling families and at risk youth. I have become aware of the desire many people have to change being incongruent with the desire or motivation to make the changes necessary. I have heard  a lot of “I’ve tried (fill in the blank here) before, it just doesn't work for me” from many people. Many times success comes from continuous practice. That “pushing forward” despite the wall. The getting back up and dusting yourself off to finish the race even though you are in last place and you cannot run anymore so you walk to the finish line.


If you are not convinced yet, think about these things.


You are different now from the than the last time you tried something.


>>>Think about how much we change and all the ways we are different at 25 than from 15… will be different still at 35 and 45 and so on. You brain continues to develop and change and you find you can do things that you could not before. You were not born with the ability to walk, run, read, talk, add, subtract and drive.


>>>Have you ever thought about how different a first born child’s parents are from the third child’s parents…..Same two people, very different at the same time. The first child may be born to two young people in their early 20’s. Maybe they were newlyweds and just learning how to live with someone other than parents and siblings. They might never have held a child before. The parents may be new in their jobs or studying in college. They may have little to no savings account. Now think about a couple with their third child. This family may be more established in their career, with some money put away in savings. They have held their own two children, many of their friends’ kids as well as nieces and nephews. They know so much about each other, how to push and support one another. Each set of parents are different in their ideas, confidence and values. Ergo the first set of parents may handle many things differently from the second set based on those life experiences.


Try something you have done before. Revisit it.


Trying something new requires one moment of bravery. Doing something again and again despite perceived failure, takes persistence and resilience. Which of these traits would you rather have mastered?