Have you ever been so confident that you were great at something that you just did it without giving it a second thought?

I have.   A couple of weeks ago, while out doing the Run For Ruth-We Dissent Virtual 5K with my youngest daughter, I came across some toys in the park (pogo-sticks, hula hoops, and corn holes) that the Seattle Parks Department put out for everyone to have fun with.  Of course, my 11-year-old was all over that, and frankly, so was I!

She grabbed a pogo-stick, and so did I.  She took hers to the grass to practice but not me.  I didn’t need practice because I knew I was FANTASTIC at pogo sticking!  In my mind, I could hop for hours and never fall.  It didn’t even occur to me that this ability might have changed over time.  Seriously, it did not occur to me.

Yes, you guessed it.  I jumped both feet on the stick with gusto and did one big hop, and fell backward smackdown on my tailbone.  Ouch!  My daughter was speechless, and I couldn’t speak for about a minute.  Then, my Apple Watch alerted me that I fell and might need to call 911.  No, thank you.  I did not.

So maybe I’m not still fantastic at pogo-sticking.  It might not be my thing anymore…but it could be if I wanted it to.  I know without a doubt that with practice (on the grass) that I could be good at it again, but I also know that there are plenty of things that make me much happier now….like skiing.  I liked that when I was a kid too, but I love it even more now because it gets me outdoors, I feel free, and my mind expands.

This got me thinking about what brought us to where we are now but may not be working for us any longer.  Questions for all of us to consider:

  • What things you used to excel at (and maybe still do) but are ready to let go of now?  This could be anything-an activity, a relationship, a career, or a passion.
  • Are there things that you used to do that you still love?
  • And, what the things you haven’t even tried yet but have been thinking about that could give you the same sense of joy as the pogo-stick did when you were 11?

If you can figure these things out, you’re on the way to living a joyful and wholehearted life.  Sure, it’s risky to try new things but isn’t life more interesting when you’re willing to be brave just for the fun of it?