March fourth is a very important day, not only because it’s my birthday, but it is the only day that is a command. It is the calendar issuing you a challenge to march forth, step out of your comfort zone and try something new. As I get older the more I take this advice to heart as it is important to remember how frustrating and rewarding it is to learn something new.
When is the last time you learned something completely new? Below is my account of attempting to surf in Arugam Bay, Sri Lanka. A short story to remind my aging self that “old dogs can learn new tricks.” And, hopefully inspires you to never lose that urge to try something new.
Fighting tears of pain and frustration after yet another wipe out on my surf board, I scanned the water to see if anyone had noticed my attempt at catching the wave. Exhausted and uninterested in paddling out to try and catch the next wave, I struggled to shore with my surfboard. Sitting on the beach surveying other beginners attempting to stand up on their boards I felt a little bit better about my efforts. However, it didn’t change the fact that learning something new is as tough as it is rewarding.
This was just the beginning of the learning something new epiphany that I had in Arugam Bay in Sri Lanka. Each morning when we woke up and headed to the beach to surf I was excited to attempt to walk on water. Even after many failed attempts, bumps and bruises I was filled with hope that tomorrow would be my day. Each break through and little triumph made me smile, while each setback taught me something new about my technique.
As I struggled to carry the surf board effortlessly under my arm, like so many of the seasoned boarders walking on the beach I fully realized how much harder it was than it looks. The reality is that I’m not going to become a surfer dude (or in this case dudette) overnight, or possibly ever. But the benefit of learning to surf went far beyond clearing my sinuses with plenty of salt water, acquiring a new skill builds confidence, creativity and to put it nicely is a very humbling experience.
Do you want to be more confident, inspiring and adaptable? Do you wish you could surf, cook gourmet meals or speak another language? Well, what if I told you all of these things are possible by simply putting your energy into learning new things. Why did this post turn into an infomercial? Because I really believe in the power of getting out of your comfort zone and gaining a new skill, so I want to sell you on the idea. The benefits are endless.
So, today, on the only day of the year that is a command I dare you to move beyond the things you know and learn something new. Be open to the possibilities in your life and explore new opportunities. Take the calendar’s challenge and March Forth!