A year and a bit ago, I knew very little about On1 Salsa dancing. Now I can dance pretty darn well.
Before 2016, I had never taken a single martial arts class. Now, I can say I have learned a bit of Wing Chun (kung fu) and boxing after taking a year and a half, and a couple of months, respectively.
Before 2018, I had never stood on a surfboard… Now:
New Year resolutions are indeed hard to keep rolling, but when you do something that really lights your fire, they are not hassles, but invigorating challenges.
I have this belief that happiness is found during the process of solving problems that you love going through.
It’s as simple as the fact that if you don’t like lifting weights, then a workout at the gym is painful, literally. However if you enjoy the feeling of lifting a barbell, if you don’t mind enduring the sore muscles after a workout, you feel like lifting weights releases stress, etc. then it becomes an activity that will bring you happiness along the way.
This applies to the job you have, your significant other, your friends, the things you do every day. Aiming to fill your days and life with positive energy is what brings joy after all.
Beyond the Healthy Benefits
This all sounds like a cheesy Millennial speech (and it kinda is). But it has practical benefits. For one, these are all healthy physical activities worth doing.
But then there’s something that’s more important to me: the challenge and the sense of accomplishment.
Trust me, I’m no pro surfer (I’m a k00k), and I have a looong way to continue to learn, but I can stand on my surfboard on green waves and am beginning to go along the line, and that feels awesome. It’s hard to describe the feeling of freedom and adrenaline when doing this.
But before all of this, I fell. A lot. Over and over again. I’ll write another post about this, but there are things that nobody tells you about learning to surf. There were times when I thought about quitting. This happened in Salsa and Wing Chun as well, on a different way, but happened.
But then, one day, I made it past the first barriers and it was sweet.
And the Ultimate Reward is: progressing when learning something new gives you confidence to kick ass in life.
This is the key benefit that I don’t pursue, but enjoy the most: the feeling of being able to do anything that my mind can envision. This applies to every aspect in my life. Beyond the hedonistic nature of surfing, boxing or dancing, it’s the confidence that I can deal with any challenge ahead.
Most things in life that are worth having / knowing / experiencing come at a cost. And when you love to learn something, you put in effort, patience, love and commitment.
Also, it pushes me to pursue activities that I love doing and surround myself with positive experiences, activities and people.
And this is why I will continue to set new challenges for myself every year.
PD. Shout out to Gabriel Hereida for teaching me what I know so far.