Social media is constantly inundating us with messages of inspiration. A common one is “What would you attempt to do if you knew you could not fail?” You’ve probably come across this, and you’ve probably had something in mind. Maybe you thought of an activity you once loved.
Something you used to do regularly, but you quit because life got in the way. Going back to a hobby that you used to do long ago is different for everyone. But from my experience, it tends to lead to the following 6- Step process.
1. Realizing you miss it
Maybe there’s a particular moment when it hits you. You’re watching a movie about that particular hobby and all of a sudden you feel a pang of sadness. Or your friends pick up the hobby and you get irrationally jealous. Why do your friends get to have all this fun? Those endorphins should be running through your blood.
To cope, you start humble bragging, which eventually turns into just plain bragging. You tell decade-old stories about your past accomplishments in this activity. All you really want is to feel that joy again. Not the joy of victory, but the joy of exercising your passion. Why did you even give it up in the first place? You might remember the reason, but it doesn’t seem valid anymore. You have no choice. You must go back.
2. Assuming you’re going to be an expert at it
So you’ve decided to do this. You get in the studio, on the court, in front of the chessboard, wherever it may be. Clearly your name’s not Kanye because someone let you into your zone (Ed note: Yes, I know that Kanye eventually gets into his zone). You’re ready to put your natural talents to work. You remember being great the last time. You’re nervous but eager to pick up where you left off.
3. Realizing you were wrong about the whole “being an expert” thing
So apparently when you stopped doing this hobby, everyone else who did it continued and excelled at it. But that’s okay, just a bit more practice and you’ll be fine right? Wrong. Even after that first few days of practice, you don’t improve much. You go for an audition, performance or competition and you fail. And honestly, you’re kind of surprised. You can normally handle rejection, but not when it comes to this. You’re an expert at this! Or at least you used to be.
4. Falling into a temporary slump
Now, you’re convinced you have no talent. There was a bus to take the learning curve and you missed it when you quit. Time to get a new hobby. Or maybe you should just dedicate yourself to watching Netflix. And there’s that new iPhone app everyone’s talking about; you can check that out. Life will be fine without your briefly revived passion.
5. Getting over your ego
You can’t let momentary failure get in the way. There was a reason you went back to this and you need to see it through. You’re reliving the moment in Step 1 all over again and this time, your motivation is here to stay. After all, during that brief time period in which you went back to your passion, you actually saw traces of your talent. And most importantly, you had fun.
6. Picking it up again and going at your own pace
You didn’t pick this up again to get to a professional level. You did it because it made you happy. Sure, it would be cool to master your skill, but mastery only comes with a lot of practice. Practice that – most of the time— you’ll actually enjoy. And what could be better than doing what you enjoy?
Life might get in the way sometimes, but if you truly love something, there’s no quitting, only taking a break. Just…maybe wait a while before you take your next break. You might find that you love this enough to add it to your routine. And maybe one day, after all that practice, you will be an expert. But one thing’s for sure; you’re already doing a pretty good job of living life because you’re pursuing your passion.