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I'm a professional coach and former practicing lawyer, here to help you explore how to become more effective, intentional, and fulfilled in your personal and professional life. Grab a cup of coffee or tea and join me!
Recently, I hopped on the train to Michael’s craft store. (I could spend hours in that place!) As I wandered through the aisles eyeing all the pretty things, I stumbled across the watercolor section. I’ve always been drawn to watercolor art, even buying a few for my apartment.
As I was staring at a rainbow watercolor palette, it occurred to me that I could try it out. A radical idea, I know! I thought, “If others can do it, why not me? If I’m no good at it, what’s the worst that will happen? Worst case, I throw a few less than amazing paintings in the trash and give away the rest of my watercolor supplies. Yep, I can live with that!”
So I bought the paints along with a basic brush set and tray. As I headed back home, my excitement grew. I couldn’t wait to tear open my supplies and give this new project a try! Who knows, maybe this could become a fun new hobby? Or maybe not. That’d be okay too. Either way, I’ll have fun with it.
That evening, I dug right in and gave it a shot without any hesitation. To my surprise, my very first painting , wasn’t a complete disaster! I actually kind of liked it!
I sat there for hours, playing, exploring, and giving myself permission to make mistakes. I didn’t judge the outcome too harshly or have a “right way” of doing it in mind. Without the pressure of becoming the next Picasso, I was able to laugh when a brush stroke didn’t quite turn out as I’d envisioned! Before long, I had 5 or 6 not-too-terrible pieces of art that I created all while having an absolute blast!
I had so much fun that I completely lost track of time and had to peel myself away from the paints to go to sleep. That night, as I lay in bed, I thought about how fun it was to try something new and a bit outside my comfort zone (or at least outside what I thought I’d be naturally good at) – something I hadn’t done since I was a kid.
As my mind drifted, I started to wonder why we don’t approach more in life the way I approached this little painting experiment. Why don’t we have more childlike wonder and just try things?
When we do that, we stop ourselves before we even try and miss out on some great opportunities as a result. Or we do try, but don’t allow ourselves to see the beauty in what we’ve created, focusing instead on what we didn’t do or how it isn’t working out in the timing we want or the way we want.
When we attach ourselves to certain ways of doing things, we may give up when that one way doesn’t work, instead of trusting that we’ll figure out a way to make it work along the way. We’ll adjust and readjust, learning from what works and what doesn’t work, just as I did with the watercolors.
After all, some of the best things (like the invention of the light bulb) came from hundreds or even thousands of “failed” attempts. The key is to approach it as play and experimentation!
We forget to play, experiment, HAVE FUN, learn, and grow in the process – and to treat things with just a little bit more lightness.
So, whether it’s a new hobby or simply looking at things you currently do in a new way, wouldn’t it bring you more joy and ease if you approached it with a sense of childlike, judgment-free, explorative wonder? Wouldn’t you have more fun along the way?
And in my experience, more fun and play in the process often leads to a better, more creative outcome in the more because we’re not putting so much pressure on it!
Always wanted to try calligraphy? Give it a shot! Want to learn how to create a website? If did it, I’m betting you can too! Whatever it is, have fun with it! Turn some music on and let your creative juices flow. Don’t worry so much about the outcome or the “right way” of doing things, just enjoy the process!