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On Learning New Skills

by DW Green — January 27, 2021

I went from a failure, to someone who did things because I enjoyed them.

I read this quote Tuesday morning. I said, “Wow! This is really good.” And then, when I read Adam’s blog later in the day, I thought this Kurt Vonnegut story was appropriate. Appropriate in terms of augmenting Adam’s blog post.

This quote from world renowned author Kurt Vonnegut is about freeing ourselves to do what we want regardless of our skill level or our ultimate goal.

“When I was 15, I spent a month working on an archeological dig. I was talking to one of the archeologists one day during our lunch break and he asked those kinds of “getting to know you” questions you ask young people: Do you play sports? What’s your favorite subject? And I told him, no I don’t play any sports. I do theater, I’m in choir, I play the violin and piano, I used to take art classes. And he went WOW. That’s amazing! And I said, “Oh no, but I’m not any good at ANY of them.” And he said something then that I will never forget and which absolutely blew my mind because no one had ever said anything like it to me before: “I don’t think being good at things is the point of doing them. I think you’ve got all these wonderful experiences with different skills, and that all teaches you things and makes you an interesting person, no matter how well you do them.” And that honestly changed my life. Because I went from a failure, someone who hadn’t been talented enough at anything to excel, to someone who did things because I enjoyed them. I had been raised in such an achievement-oriented environment, so inundated with the myth of Talent, that I thought it was only worth doing things if you could “Win” at them.”

Read More – Help Wanted. Requirements: Zero Talent

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One response to “On Learning New Skills”

  1. James Bailey says:

    DW, thank you for your continued contribution to the world, and to me personally. This post in particular will enable me to be a better father to my kids 🙂

    Love you pal.

    James

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