Why someone would do what I did is a complete mystery to me and I’m the one who did it. I took up study of the very hardest instrument: violin. I know it is the hardest because when I inquired about whether the instructor was taking new students he said; “Do you understand that the violin is the hardest of all instruments to learn?” No, I said, I had no idea. “Why do you want to take the violin?” he asked. Then I started fumbling around.
“Well, you see my brother died.” (I’m thinking in my mind; do I expect him to get the connection?) The story is that my brother’s death caused me to be looking at old family pictures, and that caused me to find the handwritten autobiography of a great uncle, and that got me interested in my family genealogy, and that caused me to interview my mother who told me about her father’s brothers who had played the fiddle back in the hills of Kentucky. I finally said to Aaron; “I want to find out if there is any music in me.” But I wasn’t really sure myself why I was doing this.
And so I began a great love-hate relationship with this unrelenting brutal instrument that almost laughs at you for trying. Then every once in awhile it tosses you a note as sweet as heaven that suckers you into continuing. I’m still trying to find out if there is any music in me. I did find out something else worth knowing though, and it is this: it is good to always have an activity in your life that is outside your comfort zone.
Most of us don’t go outside our comfort zone unless forced. Why should we choose to be uncomfortable? I can suggest a few reasons. Having a whole new world open up; keeping flexible, preventing boredom with life, inviting adventure, warding off arrogance by risking failure, and experiencing the joy of an unpredictable life.
Are you doing anything right now outside your comfort zone? I encourage and challenge you to consider it. While you do, please excuse me. I have to go practice violin.
Now try listening to the audio version: