When I heard author and business guru Seth Godin speak those words in a podcast several months ago, they lingered in my mind like a catchy chorus:
"When was the last time you did something for the first time?"
A long time, some of us might say. I was definitely in the "not enough" category, since there were some ideas I had in my aspirational back-burner I wanted to shift to the get-done list.
Godin went on to say complacency can be the worst thing to happen to a creative or entrpreneur, and as someone in the freelance stage of my life, I knew I had the freedom to go after practically anything I wanted now. And I also knew how to staying pat was oh so deliciously easy and gratifying, but it definitely didn't challenge the part of me that needed to be pushed.
Take a risk, Godin goads us in this podcast. Let your brain tackle something fresh and new and wild. Don't be afraid to screw up. We're all terrible at something we do for the first time. But like a Dan Savage refrain, it gets better.
Recently, I decided to stop saying "I will do that" and said "I AM doing to do that!" I'm going to do two things for the first time.
First, I'm going to take improv classes in January until March, an art form I've always admired in the theatre chair but now I'm hungry to take that stage. And later this year, I'm launching a poetry podcast! I'm unbelievably stoked about this project, and rest assured you'll be hearing a lot more about it in the coming months.
I'm taking these two risks because I want to keep my brain percolating as I do the journalim and arts-education hustling. I know that life now, snagging those journo gigs and inspiring kids at schools, and I frickin love it but I'm also interested in exploring the range of my skills. I want to see how improv and podcasting influence my life.
Tell me...when was the last time you did a new thing for the first time? And if it's been eons, what's stopping you?
About David's Blog
I write about journalism, freelancing, the arts, Toronto, technology, sports and why egg nog is under-rated.