A while back, I spent a wonderful weekend in Saginaw, Michigan, with some really great…
Do you know someone who is great at what they do? Regardless of whether they are a skilled surgeon, a typist, a musician, a speaker, or any other kind of professional, I can guarantee you there was a time when they knew absolutely nothing about what they are now so great at doing. I can also guarantee you that when they first began their career, they made mistakes. They stumbled along and probably made a fool out of themselves on more than one occasion. That is because they did not know how to do the very task that they have now become so proficient in doing. Although they now look like a master, they were once a disaster.
When people do not know how to do something, they have to have a starting point. No one starts at the end of the process. Rather, they start at the beginning. When a person first learns to ride a bicycle, they do not start by racing in the Tour de France. They usually start by riding a tricycle before they move to a bike. Even when they begin to ride the bicycle, they typically fall off several times until they get the hang of how to do it and learn how to keep their balance.
I am amazed at the tricks that some of these young kids do with bicycles in major competitions. I have seen them jump off of ramps, do flips, completely dismount in mid-air and then get back on, before landing safely on both wheels. I never even thought about doing something like that when I was a kid! I was just happy when my bicycle would work so that I could deliver all my newspapers on my paper route. The only flip I ever experienced on my bicycle was when I flipped over because the front of it was too heavy with all of my newspapers!
The famous motivational speaker, Zig Ziglar, often says, “Anything in life worth doing at all is worth doing poorly – until you can learn how to do it well.” Zig uses that as an example of how everyone has to start from a place of incompetence until they learn to be competent. That process takes place through trial and error. I can assure you that whether it is building houses, sewing clothes, painting a picture, styling someone’s hair, or playing golf, each professional had to go through the pain of seeing their work fail miserably time and again until they could get good at what they are now doing.
This week, look at your profession and your life through a different set of eyes. Cut yourself some slack. Realize that you may be in the process of learning how to do what you do better. It is through that process that you will get good (and maybe even great) at what you are doing. When you finally do become a master at your particular trade, you will be the first one to stand up and give testimony to the fact that you were once a disaster at what everyone thinks comes so naturally and easily to you. You will be able to encourage others by telling them the “horror” stories of the mistakes you made in your own life as you were developing the skill that you now possess.
I don’t know about you, but thoughts like this really encourage me. They help me to keep trying and give me hope that the future can be better than the past. Life truly is a journey and we should be learning all that we can as we travel along life’s road.
I know that whatever it is that you love to do, you will become a master at it in time. Just keep doing it. Don’t give up or quit! You deserve to be a master yourself. It simply takes time, and you are on your way!
Tip: Every master was once a disaster!
Have a great week! God bless you!
Dr. Robert A. Rohm