Do Something New….
It has occurred to me that we should be encouraging each other to try something new this year. To find a new challenge to keep all those motor neurons firing on all cylinders. As you get older (cough, naturally I am not talking about myself!) we tend to stick very firmly within the boundaries of what we know and what we know we can do. We feel comfortable and we think to ourselves, there’s no way I can learn anything else now… my brain is not as good as it was, learning is just for the young… WRONG! According to several studies your brain is the ONLY organ that doesn’t deteriorate so quickly if you continue to use it. That and your nose which apparently continues to grow in a sinister fashion until you look quite weird, REALLY looking forward to that, but I digress…
About 10 years ago I did a Masters degree in Orchestration for Film and TV. At the beginning I thought that there was no way I would be able to achieve it, I felt as if I was drowning in the unknown. I had to learn how to score for an orchestra which was like learning a whole new language. Before that I had written music using chord symbols only. This was a whole new world… I thought to myself I can’t do it, I simply can’t do it. Then I thought I won’t do it, I will not do it and you can’t make me! Then… the competitive side of me seeped in and I thought if my fellow students can do it, why can’t I do it? I’m not the cleverest person but nor am I the stupidest either, so I started, I finished, I passed and also wrote for the BBC Concert Orchestra in the process. I felt elated… I could literally feel my brain throbbing with knowledge. But the most important thing it taught me was that it is possible to do ANYTHING at any age if you want to.
At the same time it also scared me a lot because I realised that we all have so much potential within ourselves, and we only use about 10% of it, and only about 10% of our brain power. I left school at 15 and apart from a post graduate year at The Guildhall studying music (another story) I have not had a proper formal education.
Do you remember those amazing programmes called ‘Faking It’ where someone had to trick a panel of experts with new skills that the contestant had had to learn really quickly? I loved those programmes. They showed you how easy it is to categorise other peoples potential as well as your own and how we don’t realise what we can achieve. My all time favourite was the burger van guy who had only ever flipped burgers – he became a master chef… I really hope he is still using those skills.
So come on, whatever it is, however fanciful it may seem, dust off that idea you had about science, or dancing or studying law and start. You will really surprise yourself and it may give you a change in career or add to the richness of the one you already have.
Me? I run Stephen Einhorn with Stephen, I write music and I’ve been learning Spanish for the last 5 years. I’m not bad at it, I have a GCSE and an A level, have taken the Dele Inicial and am now studying for the Dele Intermedio… I’ll let you know if I pass, it’s hard but my brain loves it! Now for the dance classes…