By Cody Sowa
I’ll start out with one of the most important parts. Pick something you want to do or learn that you are genuinely interested in. There’s not much of a point in learning something that you hate or have zero passion for.
- Now for the fun part. The first thing I do when trying to learn something new is to drop all of my Instagram and social expectations at the door. I usually find something I want to learn on one of the many social platforms and become intrigued. The problem with that is most of the people are not putting their first few attempts on social media. Rather, they practice and wait until their new skill has developed to an impressive level before showing the virtual world. So, start by understanding that you’re going to be less than social media adequate for a little while. If it were easier, then everyone would be doing it already.
- I use the internet and those dangerous social platforms to find both inspiration and the niche or style that intrigues me the most. We are incredibly lucky to live in a world with inspiration at our fingertips. Use it, but use it wisely. Resist the urge to hold your attempts next to those of the inspo that you’ve found.
- If it’s not a potentially dangerous activity or requiring equipment that can cause bodily harm or death, then jump right in and try without looking up tutorials or instructions. Exercise your brain and learn to think through processes that you have no experience with. It’s great practice for ‘real life’ situations. If the activity or equipment has potential harmful or deadly outcomes, then do some instructional research first. You’ll have a much harder time getting good at something if you end up getting injured while learning. It’s tough to keep your motivation going if you end up spending future attempts at the activity while battling the negative connotations that came from an accident injury. It is also tough to continue the learning process if you’re missing a finger or two (or worse).
- Share your first attempt with a friend or family member and get outside feedback. If you’re brave, post it on the social channel(s) of your choice and get other people’s thoughts. Be more careful with this one, mainly because I’ve noticed that many people on social media are more judgmental and can be fairly negative for no reason. Write down the feedback from others, then write down steps for making improvements.
Everything has a learning curve. It’s shorter and longer for certain people based on factors that can’t be measured. Be patient with yourself, but also be realistic. If you struggle with something for longer than you think is necessary, then hire a professional to teach you. The only thing stopping you from being good or great at something is….. YOU. Now go have some fun and learn something new.
P.S. I needed a new desk as well as a headboard. They aren’t perfect and I learned a lot, but I’d rather have a less than perfect version of something that I built/made myself than a perfect looking store-bought version. Personal preference.