“I am always doing that which I cannot do, in order that I may learn how to do it.”~Pablo Picasso
Years ago, someone I trusted a great deal called me out on what they said was an erroneous thought. I had said something like, “I should have known that already,” to which they replied, “You can’t know something until you know it.” I have repeated this saying many times to clients, friends, and colleagues, and if I’m completely truthful, I still stumble with it because I still sometimes think I should know something already. I am still working on this.
Similarly, I think I, and perhaps many others, somehow believe we should also know how to do things before we’ve learned how to do them. For many years, I resisted learning new things – such as skiing – because I wasn’t comfortable being such a beginner and being “bad at it.” I see the same silly – and limiting – thought patterns in my clients. They are often reluctant to try something new (at work or at home) because they’ll have a learning curve before they’re proficient…or even passable.
We have a lot to learn from Pablo Picasso.
Pablo Picasso – an artist who, in many ways, changed the way we think about and appreciate art…because he was often willing to try something new. This can be a lesson to us all. If we limit ourselves to only doing the things we can do, we won’t learn; we won’t grow; we won’t evolve. If we limit ourselves to only doing the things we already can do, we run the risk of missing out on so many experiences. And we run the risk of potentially finding new things we can possibly do even better.
I have learned, as I’ve matured, to give myself space to learn and to grow. I’ve learned to become okay with stumbling and falling (literally in the case of my skiing) in order that I can acquire new skills and perhaps talents. I learned to write by writing. I learned to run distances by running distances. I learned to do many different things simply by giving myself the chance to do something I, at this point, cannot do.
What have you done that you could not do, so that you could learn to do it?
Please leave a comment.
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I have a recent experience that relates to this. My wife and I have both re-learned to ride motorcycles after several decades (!) We started from scratch helped by our instructors and our attitude toward re-learning. If we had leapt on a bike saying “I did this when I was twenty, what’s the problem” I would not have even completed the course. Part of the joy of learning to ride again was … the joy of learning, step by step and then finding the flow. (Yes, we wear helmets).
Thank you for a concrete reminder on the joy of realizing and admitting what we don’t know – in order to learn!