July 20, 2009

"Who cuts your hair?"

A jewelry box cake hubby made for a friend
One of my favorite little pleasures in life is being complimented on my haircut. Why is that? Because my husband cuts my hair, and I love giving him the credit. People ask if he's a stylist and I say no, he just likes cutting my hair. Over the years, he's gotten pretty good at it, too.

My husband was also a pastry chef for years. Where did he go to school? He didn't; he's self-taught and, of course, had some great mentors while he was learning on the job. Same with his knowledge of specialty foods, where he's considered an expert within his field.

The best way to learn is to DO. Reading is great, training is helpful, coaching is a start... but unless you do the thing you want to get better at, you will not learn, nor will you improve.

I am constantly in awe of those of my clients who have avoided public speaking their whole lives and are now about to make the leap. Some of them have taken classes, lessons or read books, but for the ones who have managed to get out of every possible speaking engagement, this is huge.

With all the fear that has held them back, they also know that they must start doing. They look for opportunities at church, in small meetings. They know they will have to make these opportunities happen if they are to succeed at actually learning.

As I've said before, the most important thing is to get started. Take action. Daydream, fantasize, cogitate, ruminate and plan all you want. But if you want to learn and you want to move forward, you must DO.

What have you taught yourself to do and how did you make it happen?

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7 comments. Please add yours! :

Kim Siever said...

I taught myself HTML 12 years ago. For the last years, I have done it full-time. I'm also self-taught in mechanical repair, photography, cooking, cheese making, bread making, and various other things. I don’t do any of those full-time though.

Jennifer V. Miller said...


Years ago, I taught myself calligraphy. There's something very soothing about the careful forming of letters.

More recently, I planted a veggie garden for the first time and am learning how to can the fruits of my labors. Wish me luck on my pickle-making!

Jennifer Miller

Lisa Braithwaite said...

Kim and Jennifer, I have taught myself both HTML and calligraphy! I wouldn't be able to code a whole website or anything, but I've been doing my own for a few years now and have also customized my blog to match.

I haven't done calligraphy in ages; maybe I should take it up again!

It's so much fun and so very satisfying to decide to do something and then do it!

Thanks for sharing!

Angela said...

This is true. Mastery of public speaking requires continued training. Mastery can come from excercising just one new skill a week and practicing it every day. Just give yourself a few minutes each time and your efforts will be rewarded.

Lisa Braithwaite said...

Great tip, Angela. I also suggest my clients practice one new skill at a time to build comfort and not get too overwhelmed.

Lance said...

Carpe diem!

Reminds me of when my youngest son was starting to play soccer - and the team needed a coach. So I volunteered, not knowing much at all about the sport. So, I was thrown into it with nothing to fall back on (albeit they were six years old, and not too competitive yet). And I got out there and I learned, and I've tried things (some that work and some that don't), and today, four years later, and four years of coaching under my belt - we field a competitive team - and it does feel good to work with these kids, and see them succeed out on the field (and in life). And it all came because I chose in that moment to "do it", even though I wasn't all that sure of the "how" at the time.

And kudos to your husband - he does a remarkable job (and not something I'd attempt with my wife...although she does cut my hair!)

Lisa Braithwaite said...

Way to go, Lance! Thanks for sharing!

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