I love how Marcus Buckingham (the guy in the videos) defines strengths (things that make us feel strong and magnificent) and how he defines hobbies (things for which we have a huge appetite but little ability).
This made me think about my own hobbies. In the past, when I would list my hobbies in the "interest" section of my resume, they looked something like this:
- playing piano
Kind of dull, eh? They were either things I'm already good at, or interests of mine that I'm semi-good at already. Or things where there's not really a scale of good or bad, gifted or struggling, for them. Like "I'm an amazing camper - I'm probably the best camper in my family." Who really cares?
But I didn't have any hobbies on this list that were things where I have little ability.
So this made me wonder: why do I avoid the things I'm not good at?
Pretty easy to answer that question: because I don't like failing. Especially in front of others.
In high school I even avoided team sports, except for soccer. Because I didn't totally suck at soccer. But besides that, I ran cross country and track. Individual sports where I had no one to disappoint but myself.
If I would have been playing guitar for all of the years that I've said I'd love to learn how to play guitar, I'd probably be a pretty mean guitar player by now. But as it is, I'm not.
I admire my daughters, who are learning many things right now and practicing, practicing, practicing. And playing. My daughters' piano teacher emphasizes that they find a "playtime" every day for piano. Not a practice time, but a playtime. I like this slight change of wording, and think I need to bring some "playtime" into my days.
So this fall, I've chosen a couple of things to try out where I have a big interest and absolutely no skill:
- Bollywood dance lessons. I know that my friends who traveled with me to India will find this highly amusing. I've had a love affair with the Bollywood genre ever since I traveled there in 1995. The lessons are a hoot. So much fun and laughter and stumbling around. And absolutely humongous mirrors where you can't help but peek at yourself flailing around. The whole while, I'm thinking "Wow, I suck, but this is a pile of fun." The only thing I'm really good at in Bollywood dancing is smiling. I have one plastered on my face for the whole 45 minute lesson.
- Poetry group. I have no idea what I'm doing as far as discussing or writing poetry, but I'm interested. And I'll probably make a fool of myself. Just like Bollywood. Only not so much hip and bum actions.