Friday, September 7, 2012

Which is Harder: Something New or Getting Better?

It's harder to try harder at things than it is to try new things.

At least, that's true for adults. When you're an adult and you try new things (like triathlons) you say to yourself and others, "Well, I've never done this before, so just doing it is an accomplishment."

"The circle is now complete..."
But when you try harder at things, like to run a faster 10K, and you have background or experience, you can't just say "I'm a winner just for finishing." You have to actually achieve your goal or you look bad to others and feel bad.

That's because as adults we worry about how we appear to the outside world. We know others are watching and evaluating and we care about that.

But for kids, it's harder to try new things because they are new and unknown. Kids don't have a lot of experience to be able to make accurate predictions about the unknown. For instance, they have no idea what it's like to get on a school bus and enter a classroom as a Kindergartener. So it's really scary to try that.

And kids only care about themselves and how they feel. They don't care what others think. And anyone who has kids knows they will happily do the same thing over and over and over again without comparing recent efforts to past efforts or worrying if they are showing improvement or even paying attention at all to what they are doing.

They don't plan or train. They don't really set goals. They just live in the moment and evaluate their experience on their own perception. They don't care what anyone thinks.

I think I'm teaching my kids so much. I need to thank them for teaching me a few things here and there.