Had lunch with Des a while ago and he blew my mind again. That’s what older brothers are for I suppose.
“You may need to do some of the things that you don’t like doing, which you don’t have a compelling reason NOT to do, because you’ll very likely find that doing them helps to meet a need that you don’t know even exists.”
There are countless examples of me getting an unknown need met or uncovering the existence of a need simply by doing something new. Teaching Group Cycling classes is a great example of this. Before I started teaching, I enjoyed taking the classes because they were a good workout, fun and a challenge. But teaching is very different. You do get a good workout and it is a challenge, but it’s very different from taking a class. It is an experience all of its own. When you are in front of people you are performing. There is anxiety and exhilaration, thoughts and rituals, and a rush that cannot be described or experiences simply as a participant. When the glass goes well, you feel like a rock star or someone who is very cool and the center of attention. When class goes poorly, you feel like an incompetent idiot and kind of want to run and hide. There’s a lot of mental gymnastics going on to keep the whole thing going, which is a skill that I wouldn’t have anticipated needing on order to be an instructor.
The point is, teaching a group fitness class is a lot of fun, but it isn’t like anything I have ever done before or do often, and it isn’t anything like what I thought it would be. While it was something I wanted to do, there were a lot of times at the beginning that I didn’t like it very much and thought about quitting. However, it was a goal that I set for myself so I followed through on it over time I came to realize that I enjoyed it, was getting better at it and that by continuing to do it, I was becoming more powerful than I would have been had I simply packed it in.
And that was Des’ lesson. It’s easy to do the stuff we like to do because you tend to like doing the things we are good at. While you will continue to benefit from doing these things, you’ll make bigger steps forward in your personal development, and in uncovering what you actually like and need to do, by doing more things we don’t like doing.
So when you are faced with a difficult or unwelcome task that doesn’t present any real risk to you, attack it with all of your passion. Superficially it may not represent anything that matters to you, but once you start to do it, you’ll likely find tackling the task is a lot more rewarding than passing on it or even completing a task that you are highly proficient at.