Have you noticed how kids get excited about anything and everything?
Have you also noticed how the excitement wanes as you grow older?
Once you learn to walk and talk, there comes a time when you marvel at everything around you – from remote controls to switches and jigsaw puzzles. There is something magical about doing/experiencing something for the first time. You stare in awe while trying to comprehend the magic that unfolds in front of your eyes. The joy of experiencing something for the first time is quite unparalleled.
When I was a whistle-blower, literally!
I remember the first time I learned to whistle. My Dad whistles like a pro but I could never figure it out. I used to be envious of my dad every time he whistled. Luckily, there was another relative who was patient with me and explained the dynamics. I remember spending an entire Sunday making a mess with my fingers while trying to whistle. It was uncomfortable at first, but when I was least expecting, I whistled. You wouldn’t believe how shocked I was. Before people could pass this off as a fluke, I tried to figure how the hell I had whistled. After a few more attempts I was able to whistle as and when I wanted to. The first time I whistled properly, I felt great. You know how it feels? Your heart is light and you jump around with excitement and you want to tell the whole world your new discovery. It was a dream-come-true moment.
Water, water, everywhere!
I’m not sure from when I was fascinated with swimming. I wasn’t afraid of stepping into the water – I was way too excited about swimming to let the fear of drowning get in my way. After many attempts to enroll in swimming classes, I finally signed up for classes during my training phase at work. The first three days we swam with the tube, it was easy-peasy. But the next 2 days were scary and exciting at the same time. We were still working on the breaststroke but it was a different ball game altogether without the tube. The strokes didn’t matter to me because I had to trust that my trainer would not let me drown. I vaguely remember moving my arms and legs with the sole aim of making it to the other side alive.
The better I got with my strokes, I started focusing less on the drowning and more on getting the job done. I still remember the first time I swam the entire length of the pool. That was the ultimate test for us beginners – to swim towards the 9 feet end of the pool and get back without anyone’s help. And guess what, I completed my lap without a hassle. I was beaming with pride. After all those years of wanting to swim, I finally found a way to get it done. Yes, swimming for the first time on your own feels magical.
I remember the euphoria when I first drove my dad’s car, the first time I baked a delicious cake and the first time I conducted a session (I was a part-time faculty for 2 years). My most favorite first-time experiences are my first flight, my first trip abroad and my first para-gliding. There are no words to describe the happiness I experienced.
I’m the kind of person who constantly looks for new things to do. It’s not to strike them off my bucket list, but to experience the joy of being able to do something for the first time. And each time the feeling is different. Sometimes I’m happy, sometimes I’m proud of what I’ve accomplished and sometimes I’m surprised at the results. When you’ve been around for almost 3 decades, the number of new things that you can do reduces. So, it makes the hunting process all the more challenging, and the happiness derived is fulfilling.
How do these experiences matter?
I am all for new experiences thanks to the self-realization it subjects us to. All through school and college, I was always this impatient person. When I learned to bake, I realized the importance of being patient and the impact of paying attention to details. The day I started conducting session I realized it’s not enough to understand something well, but it is of equal importance to communicate it clearly to the other person. The way I speak and write changed for the good once I started conducting these sessions. The first time I did para-gliding, I learned to trust a stranger with my life. Though he is a licensed glider, I smiled when he said, “Don’t stop running even after you reach the edge of the cliff.”
Each experience taught me something new or something about myself I never knew. It gave me a chance to rethink my choices and my perspectives. In addition to giving me the joy of experiencing something for the first time, it has also helped me move a step closer to the kind of person I always want to be.
So, if not as a challenge, at least for the experience – try to do something for the first time. The experience will definitely be fulfilling!
Image Courtesy: Pixabay