I passed the bathroom the other day and noticed my daughter, Maddie, applying a few drops of lens solution onto her contacts. Without a thought, she popped it in. Then the other. A few blinks later and she was off.
It wasn’t always that way. At the beginning, this simple morning ritual was torture. If you’ve ever worn the lenses, you remember how difficult it was to stick your finger into your eyeball, affix the lens onto your eye with the right suction technique and then smooth out the extra air-bubbles that inevitably hid between your eye and the lens… ALL WITHOUT BLINKING!
Morning after morning, I woke my daughter extra early to take on this monumental task. However, the more we dove into the routine, the more mastery she gained. Now, the lens application process is done without thought or effort.
Most everything that we try for the first time is awkward. When learning a new job or skill, remember that routine is the tool toward mastery.
- At the beginning of any new task, identify small victories. What part of this task can I do? Remember it for the next time around.
- Keep your vision. When learning something new, keep the vision of what it will look like when you’ve accomplished the task. I call this “Jumping the Wall.” Think of the unfamiliar process as a wall that keeps you from the goal. Focus on the goal and the wall becomes small.
- Ask for help. Inevitably, there will be parts of the new task that you can’t just figure out. Enlist the expertise or wisdom of others. Ask, who has done this before? What did they do to overcome the obstacles?
Newness creates fear. But keeping the vision of your goal and practice the routines associated with the task will lead you to master anything!