Before I went on the writing retreat recently, I had an overwhelming desire to create something with my hands. I wanted my hands and mind to be busy.
I chose knitting, not because I am particularly good or skilful at it, but because I enjoy it. I like the rhythm of knitting and the almost meditative state it brings.
But, I have to admit that my ability and ambition are out of sync, and sometimes this is difficult to reconcile. Last Christmas, I discovered Best In Show – Knit Your Own Dog and was already envisaging a masterpiece – a quirky diorama of canines – before I had even taken the contents out of the box.
Photo courtesy mom.me
My mother-in-law, who has mastered the intricacies of Fair Isle knitting, quickly completed two of the paws but then stalled on the next step in the dachshund’s construction, and has passed it on to another friend (a fellow knitwit) with substantial “yarning” skills to find the solution.
Photo courtesy http://www.bestinshowbooks.com
Suffice to say, the creation of my diorama of dogs will be a long term project.
Photo courtesy learningandcreativity.com
I used to lament that I was not “naturally” good at anything but I now realise that it was because I gave up too easily. And, it’s not a race, you have your whole lifetime to master particular skills.
Photo courtesy http://www.azquotes.com
Aristotle and Einstein have given us some pretty great theories, but If you are like me and need some practical “to do” steps, here they are:
- Start by reading or listening to others who know how to do the skill you wish to acquire
- Start doing it yourself, then do it some more
- Develop an understanding of the skill you are trying to acquire, acknowledging that developing proficiency is a journey
- If you aren’t afraid to make mistakes and learn from them, you will go from good to great!
When the world says, “Give up,” Hope whispers, “Try it one more time.” I don’t know who said this but I am sure that they had mastered a number of skills.