Was Lady Gaga Right? Are We Born This Way?

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me in viking helmetI ran into a friend the other day that I hadn’t spoken to in a while. Family – check. Job – check. Fun – whoa, wait! Naturally in the process of getting caught up, conversation turned to what we’ve been doing for the last year. Anyone who reads this, knows just how much change has happened on my end during that time. He asked what motivated me to do this?

Or, more accurately – “Where did you get your impetus to change all this stuff, to do all this amazing stuff?” (He’s Irish and uses impetus in every day conversation. I challenge you to work it into your conversation this weekend. Jaws will drop in awe and put a smile on your face.) Here’s my answer:

The Kid was required to read various articles during the year meant to spark thinking and form opinions. There was one very interesting article early on about whether or not you are born with talent. The author took an interesting stance that we aren’t born with talent, but we actually develop talents instead. Even people like Mozart and Van Gogh aren’t born with talent. It went on to explain that when you’re young, life is brand new and you get to try all kinds of different things. In the process of this, you find one or two (if you’re lucky even more) things that you really like.

jumping over fireWhen you like something, you tend to do it often and strive to learn as much as you can about it. Voila, suddenly you develop a talent. You do it so much that you become an expert at it even though that wasn’t what you set out to do. This concept really stuck with me and is driving me to try new things. If you don’t step outside your comfort zone, you’ll miss out on something that you would really love. Combine this concept with my love for a challenge and booyah, I’m a very happy person! I didn’t start out this way. In fact, the first few (OK four) decades of my life were spent avoiding change and new things.

I realized I was missing out on life and, more importantly, if change didn’t happen The Kid would follow suit! I now go out of my way to find things to try. Some have been great successes, some have been more meh than others. Yeah, I found that zip lining was OK but not exciting enough to do it again. Lifting weights on the other hand thrills me, and I’m in the process of studying biomechanics and learning how to create my own lifting plans. I discovered that I hate running 5k races because they’re boring compared to doing the Warrior Dash, jumping over flames, and getting your very own fuzzy Viking helmet as a reward.

I’ve got tons of new stuff planned in the next couple months so stayed tuned for updates on new talents in the making. Tomorrow The Kid and I have a 2 hour stand up paddleboarding lesson on the lake. You never know, maybe one of us is the future world champion paddleboarder.

Take that Lady Gaga. We aren’t born this way. We make ourselves this way. What are you going to give a try?

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