What if doing something well weren't the point?
What if doing it because it brought you joy, was, in fact, the point.
Lately I've been thinking back to how many times I've tried, or not tried, something because I knew I would either be good at it, or I would be terrible at it.
While lately I've had paralysis around writing and painting, two attempts from the past also come come to mind. My attempt at snowboarding and my attempt at DJing.
Here's the thing, I was so bad at snowboarding that first year, that when I went to my annual checkup, the doctor asked me if I wanted to talk about it. "Sweetheart, do you want to talk about it? Is....is he....beating you?" I was single, thank you very much, thought I appreciate her concern, and it was the mountain kicking my ass, not some deadbeat. But here's the thing, with every bump, bruise, sprain and broken bone (sigh), I grew and learned and was eventually following my ski patrol friends on runs between trees and through fresh pow.
And DJing. I don't have a musically inclined bone in my body. Not one. In high school, during a break from watching me plunk through another horrible rendition of Beethoven, my piano teacher got this wistful look in her eye and said "I have so many symphonies in my head, I just wish I had the time to write them down. BECAUSE SOME PEOPLE HAVE COMPOSED AND STORED MULTIPLE ENTIRE SYMPHONIES IN THEIR HEADS!!?!?!?!?!?! Nope, don't have that inclination at all. Further proof: In college, my nickname, while living in a household full of DJs, was "DJ BeatCheater" because I relied on the BPM (beats per minute) counter of my mixer to know if the songs were even capable of being on beat. But here's the thing. I've played the piano in a governor's mansion, at more than one old folks home and even a mall. I've DJed in clubs and bars. No one ever booed me off stage. Not even the time I played the same song twice.
Moral of the story, those skills, hard won and far from perfect, have brought me so freakin much joy. So much. So much more than anything I'm supposedly "good" at. I pursed snowboarding and DJing in spite of being horrible at them, sheerly because I loved them and just wanted to learn them, thank you very much. And there's this level of satisfaction that comes from doggedly pursuing something just because you are drawn to it, not because you're good at it or will become wealthy or famous for it.
So my question to you, as this year comes to a close is this:
What would you do if you knew you could not fail?*
Because here's the thing. When you're doing something you love, you can't fail. It's not possible. Your dreams and desires are there for a reason. So what it someone doesn't give you an Academy Award? Or a Grammy? Or a Nobel Peace Price. Do it for the love, not for the money.
PS Do you have a morning ritual?
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*A question originally posed by American Pastor Robert Shuller