I had wanted to take a MOOC on Coursera since it started but many of the courses that fascinated me also intimidated me. I was afraid I wouldn’t understand the subject and would fare badly on the tests and final exam, or worse I’d give up.
When I received the last e-mail, I was prepared for that familiar feeling of curiosity, want then fear and disappointment (at myself and not being able to participate). I opened it and yes, there they were slowly washing over me. Curiosity and Want. As I clicked on each course, read the description and watched the video, there was Fear and ultimately Disappointment.
But something different happened when I looked at Change, Innovation and Creativty. Fear was still there but instead of Disappointment, Curiosity and Want stood in the way. (I think exercises and project work helped.) Before I could rationalize further, I signed up.
We’re into Week 3 now and I’m enjoying various moments of discovery and action. Last week, one of the exercises we could do was Ventures. To put it simply, it required listing two things to take on and declaring that “I give myself permission to try…” and “I will play at these ventures, learn rapidly…have fun.”
Sounds easy but I had a hard time with this one. I have several things I’d love to do so I decided my first step was to list them all down. This in itself was a challenge. As I discovered in Week 2, even though I understand the concept of divergent then convergent thinking, I tend to do divergent-convergent thinking. This meant that truly listing all the things I want to do is difficult as I’m self-censoring before I even start evaluating. After some struggles, I finally managed the task, picked my two ventures and completed the exercise. (Which reminds me, I gotta finish this quickly to start one of them today.)
Too lazy to cook dinner that night, TH suggested having a salmon sandwich with salad and sweet potato on the side. I wasn’t peachy keen but couldn’t think of anything better. I figured I could add eggs to make the sandwich more interesting. Specifically, scrambled eggs. The problem is I can’t scramble an egg. My attempts have always ended disastrously so much so that the last time I tried, I told myself not to bother again ‘cos it’d be better to go without than ruin a good egg. I considered fried and boiled. Nope, no can do. And the least desired – without. Argh. Then it popped! I can make this a venture – my third one. Several things I’ve learned suddenly came to the fore.
It was a sublime moment of pure discovery and joy, and I felt eager and up for the challenge. Out came the cookbook and frying pan. I will play, learn, remind myself that failing is par for the course and most importantly HAVE FUN!