Don’t be afraid to try something new
I have a wide variety of interests. For example, I take courses in a screenplay and lyric writing; I attend literature camps, negotiation and talk show training, I study music composition, guitar lessons, and take yoga classes.
My friends usually ask me the same question when they hear about my love of learning. They ask: which one do you enjoy most? I tell them I love nothing more than making money. Just kidding.
Actually, I am not very good at making money. Frankly speaking, money doesn’t interest me much. Don’t get me wrong. I am not saying money doesn’t matter, but as long as I have enough for three meals a day and a beer or two, I am happy.
I don’t know what my favorite hobby is. I don’t even know what my strengths are? But I am 100% sure; fun is the top priority in my life, not money.
I have tried many things just for fun or to gain a new experience, like joining Toastmasters. For instance, some of them have brought me pleasure, some of them have been educational. Others were a waste of time and money.
I guess I have a restless soul. I can’t stand a boring life, so I never stop trying new things. Maybe that’s why I am still single.
Well, as you can see, I am always trying something new, what about you?
Why should you never be afraid to try new things? I am going to offer you three good reasons.
First, you don’t want to live with regrets.
We have learned from research that most dying people say that they don’t regret the things they have done. They regretted the things they didn’t do when they had the chance.
I have got a strong feeling about this. When I was a kid, my parents asked me if I wanted to learn a musical instrument such as the piano or the violin? I said no without hesitation.
After that when I went to high school, one of my classmates wanted me to go to the guitar club with him. I said no because I told myself you should focus on study.
This continued until a girl I liked chose my classmate over me. My young heart was broken, and I was full of regret.
I am not sure if the reason she chose him and not me was his guitar playing, but I made up my mind right then never to lose out again due to lack of ability.
It suddenly hit me: What’s wrong with you? Twice you have turned down the chance to learn something new.
Last year, thirty years on, I finally started learning the guitar. I knew if I didn’t take action I would regret it someday, not today, maybe not tomorrow, but soon, and for the rest of my life.
Second, you never know what you might find.
It took Thomas Edison more than 10,000 attempts to identify the perfect material for his light bulb. However rather than looking on this as 10000 failures he is quoted as saying ‘I have not failed. I have just found 10000 ways that won’t work’.
If you never try, you will never know what you might achieved.
Five years ago, for various reasons, I quit my job that I had been doing for ten years and had planned to do until I retired. I had no ideas for my future, but I understood this was a chance to better myself during my prolonged holiday, so I decided to live in an English-speaking country to improve my poor English and forget all about Taiwan for a while.
Of all the cities I wanted to visit, I finally chose Edinburgh for my new base.
The first morning in Edinburgh, I had to take the bus to my language school. I remember it was a cold and wet day. I went to the bus stop and asked an old man for help.
I said “sorry, my English isn’t very good, Could you please tell me what number bus goes to Basil Paterson school?
He told me and then asked me: where are you from? I replied: Taiwan. He said: don’t be ashamed of your English being poor. You can speak Chinese; I can only speak English.
From that time on I felt more confident in my English. A year later, my English had improved a lot, and finally, I got a surprise.
That is me. I don't know why our school used my photo in the school admission brochure for 2013. I don’t suppose it was my good looks. Perhaps it was my friendly smile.
You never know what you might get if you never try.
Third, try something new, it will give you self-confidence.
There’s something really rewarding about trying something new. Even if you fail at it, or don’t like it, it doesn’t matter. Being bold and trying will instill you with a sense of self.
The first time I joined a speech contest was Toastmasters Humorous Speech Contest in 2015. I guess some of you remember it.
I reached the final, but unfortunately, I didn’t make the first three. I suppose that was the obviously it wasn’t my fault; I blame the judges. Just kidding.
Everything you are going through is either a gift or a lesson.
From the in-house club contest to the final, you have to win five times. Each victory was exciting but exhausting.
Even though I lose in the final, I gained lots of experience and built up my confidence with each speech. You only fail when you stop trying.
Michael Jordan said: don’t be afraid to fail. Be afraid not to try.
Finally, I want to give you four letters: YOLO. YOLO stands for You only live once.
When you get older, your wild heart will live in younger days. One day you’ll leave this world behind. So make the most of your time here.
Don’t be afraid to try something new. You will never regret it, and you will get more self-confidence to enrich your life.