I am very much a beginner in skating; I relearn and enjoy it every cold Canadian winter. After my last round of skating, it occurred to me that this little scenario left me with quite a few examples on how to take a learning approach to everything in life.
So, here are the 10 lessons that I want to keep in mind every time I learn:
- When in doubt ask for help. If there is one thing I have realized growing up, it would be that independence is just an illusion. People can support you by sharing their knowledge and resources or learning with you. They are resources and support systems; we all need those in life.
- Do not go easy on yourself. Set reasonable expectations for growth and progress. Then, create a viable path for yourself to reach those expectations. On the other hand, don’t push too hard. Find a balance because safety and security are important but where there is new opportunity, there is also risk. Think of both sides.
- Falling and getting back up is a part of the learning process. You learn what went wrong and that is a way to improve; without that aspect of learning, you will keep falling and struggling for longer or give up altogether. Plus, once you fall, you have no choice but to get up. You cannot stay sitting on the ice, freezing in the way of other skaters. Just like in life, you cannot stay where you have fallen and lose sight of where you actually wanted to be.
- You need the right equipment to learn well and be safe. The better you do with the preparation, the easier and more fruitful you can make the learning journey for yourself.
- You were not born knowing everything and, in today’s age, there are abundant sources of learning on any topic or activity you have in mind. Use them wisely. Such as for skating, get lessons or watch and listen to someone else who knows. YouTube tutorials could work too; that is where I learned.
- Relish moments during the process. Sometimes, I did not do this because I was so focused on the skating, push left, push right, repeat, bend knees… I stopped and breathed to relax, and felt the air whiz by me as others passed. Then, I calmly started again. This time the focus was also to enjoy the rhythm and smooth glide.
- Do not panic. There were times when I would be doing just fine and then, all of a sudden, I would tune in to how fast I was going on the ice and panic. I would have been fine otherwise but it was the panic itself that made me fumble. And no other issue! Stay tuned into your learning progress throughout and build some confidence.
- You are never too old to learn. Be flexible and open minded about your own capabilities and capacity to grow; the right mindset is half the battle to learning successfully. There is no eligibility based on age for trying new things; many adults give up on this sadly. Imagine how adaptable and skilled we could really be with an attitude for lifelong learning.
- Recognize your own unique strengths and weaknesses, and cater to them in your learning and success.
- Practice! Practice! Practice! Patiently and persistently.