Find Your Inner ChildBy Jason Jennings | March 23, 2017
My son recently started playing football (yes, it is called “soccer” here, but that’s just wrong, so I’m going to call it football, like it should be). As it turns out, he’s quite good at it. So much so that, after only four months of playing, his coach wants him to join his tournament league. So, in preparation, I now take him to the park to train on weekends, and I’m doing my best to focus on drills that take him out of his comfort zone. One thing that struck me last weekend was how much joy he took in the drills, even the ones that he struggled with. He didn’t get frustrated or self conscious about the things he couldn’t do. He just kept trying, and he had FUN while trying, and even while failing.
At what point in our growth from child to adult do we lose this ability to revel in our own challenges and shortcomings? Why is it that we lose the capacity to be okay with the fact that we are not proficient at something when we are new to it? It’s completely counterproductive to beat ourselves up just because we are not immediate experts at something. Wouldn’t we be better served if we could approach our education, in any field, with that youthful sense of excitement and wonder, instead of with frustration and worry?
After our practice, my son challenged me to a running race. And for the first time ever, he beat me (and yes, I was trying to win). It made me realize I am no longer as good at running races as I once was. But I’m going to take a lesson from my son. I’m going to continue to run, and work hard to improve, so that I can become the best runner I can be. Others might look at me and think “Wow, he’s really not that good,” but I’m not going to worry about that. I’m just going to focus on improving a little bit every day. I’m not going to become self conscious because I might perceive others as judging me. Oh, and I’m going to enjoy the feeling of the wind in my face.
I encourage all of you to adopt the same approach to your actor training, or whatever training you are pursuing.