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Adaego M. Azi


Learning A New Skill

Posted On:03-Sep-2019/8:56 pm

Finding a new hobby is exciting – whether it be a creative hobby or learning a new language, the concept of learning is always a wonderful thing. But the older we get, the harder it is to fully commit ourselves to learning a new hobby or gaining a new skill. This is usually due to our busy schedules. Trying to find time to relax and unwind is hard enough, let alone finding time to learn a new skill. Along with time, it seems that quite a lot of people now-a-days are hesitant when it comes to learning a new skill due to fear of failure. I truly believe that these two obstacles (lack of time and fear of failure) are ultimately empty excuses that can stop us from learning something great.

1. The Lack of Time Excuse

I first noticed people’s hesitancy toward learning a new skill when talking to my sister about our favorite bands. During our discussion, she uttered, “I just wish I learned how to play guitar when I was younger”. I found what she said strange, so I replied, “Why can’t you just learn now?”. She then went into a rant of excuses ranging from “I don’t have the time” to “I’m too old, now”.                                                                                                                          

Here’s the thing about a new skill: you are never too old to learn something new. Yes, maybe you had more free time when you were younger, but there will always be a time in your life where you will deem yourself “too old”.                                                                           

So, I said to my sister, “When you are forty, you’ll say exactly the same thing to yourself - that you wish you had started learning the guitar when you were younger. Well, you’re younger than forty now, so why can’t you start today?”. The truth is, you could be 90 years old, and could be starting a new hobby; learning doesn’t have an age limit.

2. The Fear of Failure Excuse

Sometimes, it’s not just age that stops us from learning a new skill, but a fear of failure. When I first took up painting, my paintings were not very good (if I’m being honest, they are awful). So awful, in fact, that I came close to giving up the whole thing. But I enjoyed it and kept at it. Now, I have entered some of my paintings into national competitions and I’ve even won a few. I know it’s a cliché, but the phrase “practice makes perfect” is the best advice when attempting to learn a new skill. When starting something new, do not get discouraged if you do not see great results at first. And if you set it aside and stop persevering, you’ll never get any better. This is what makes starting a new hobby incredibly frustrating, but also very rewarding.

By overcoming these barriers of time and fear, you can eventually learn a wonderful new skill that you didn’t have before. So, when starting a new hobby, just remember that every day you repeat to yourself, “I’ll start tomorrow”, that is another day’s worth of learning you have now lost. Whenever you think to yourself, “I wish I taught myself this when I was younger”, start learning that hobby or skill as soon as possible. 


1 : we often make excuses for not learning new skills

2 : practice does make perfect. Don’t give up

3 : we are never too old to learn. In fact, it is a necessity.

Category:  Talent/Skills / Subcategory:  It’s never too late

Tags: skill, hobby, learning, persevere, practice, excuse, fear, failure, too old, time, barrier

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D. C. Lawrence


Adaego-I agree with you wholeheartedly. Interestingly enough, a lot of people think that learning ends when they graduate from school. Today, having a job does not guarantee that you will keep that job. Therefore, people must expect to make themselves more marketable for the next job. This means only one thing-learning new skills. S. Jakes-yes, our friends love to tease us. But I bet if you told them exactly what you said in your comment, most of them would bend over backwards to help you-in fact, I guarantee it-this is what good friends do. You definitely should not let your fear of learning to ski prevent you from enjoying that ski trip. Good read Adaego.

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S. Jakes


Wow, fear of failure. Every winter all of my friends make a big ski trip to Cypress Mountain and I always decline – a few years ago they stopped asking. When it comes to athletics I am the most uncoordinated person on the planet, and I do not want to go and embarrass myself. I thought about taking ski lessons but it would not help, even my high school gym teacher told me to stay away from sports. If anyone has any ideas for me my ears are wide open!! Nice duppydom Adaego :)

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Lisa Steffler


Adaego, I also related to your duppydom. For me, it is mostly procrastination. I started playing the piano when I was young, quit, and it has haunted me all my life. I have lost track of how many years now I have been telling myself that I should start taking lessons again. Sometimes, life just gets in the way of learning new things and I know that this is not an excuse. After reading your duppydom, I am going to add this to my bucket list :) :) Nadine, I think most of us can relate to what you said about being fearful of not living up to our parents’ expectations.

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Nadine Wu


Adaego, I enjoyed reading your duppydom. The part about fear of failure resonated with me. This is something I battled with most of my life, not necessarily in terms of learning a new skill but in terms of life decisions and my behaviors. Now that I am in my late twenties, I have come to the conclusion that it started because of the high expectations my parents had for me. I used to live for my parent’s approval and was always terrified of letting them down. I know they are not happy with many of my decisions (at least lately), but this is my life and I am no longer fearful. Thank you Adaego, it’s nice getting this off my chest.