My nearly 9-year-old son was suddenly interested in basketball during the recent NBA Finals. He was cheering for the Miami Heat. His interest seemed to come out of nowhere. I asked why he liked Miami, and he said, “They are really good!”
Since he had this new-found interest in basketball, my husband asked my son if he would ever want to play the sport.
“No,” he replied.
“Why not?” I asked.
“Well,” he said while thinking, “I can’t dunk!”
I laughed. Of course he can’t dunk! I mean, he can dunk on our Little Tikes hoop in the yard, but no one expects a kid under 5 feet tall to dunk a basketball.
But, we do that all of the time don’t we? We don’t try something new because we can’t do what a professional in that area can do. We can’t dunk.
It sounds so ridiculous, but I do it all the time. We’ve become a society of professionals. People get so specialized at something and devote their lives to it, and it leaves us amateurs feeling like we can’t even try. There’s nothing wrong with pursuing and perfecting a passion, but we shouldn’t let someone else’s mastery of something keep us from taking a step towards learning something new.
Don’t compare your starting point to someone else’s professional career. And don’t let someone else’s amazing ability keep you from learning a new skill. Maybe you’ll even learn how to dunk one day.