First steps to new relationships: how I discovered the joy of trying something new

Whether it’s learning a language or visiting somewhere you’ve never been before, new beginnings are ripe with possibility, mystery and excitement


Thu 15 四月 2021

That first glimpse of one another – the glint in the eyes, those first words spoken, that smile. Every element in the buildup to a first kiss is a distinct and magical moment.

As for that first kiss itself: is there anything more loaded with tension, meaning and longing? Like the big bang, the Beatles’ Sgt Pepper album and the invention of the internet, that kiss is a beginning. And all beginnings – of a relationship, a holiday or a hobby – are ripe with possibility, mystery and excitement.

We live for beginnings; for the irresistible charge that accompanies trying something new. Be it the first colours brushed on to an empty canvas, the first words typed on a blank screen, the first houseplants we pot to brighten our home, or the first steps of a dance to a song we’ve never heard before – every beginning is exceptional and sacred: the opening of a new door.

It’s easy to forget the sheer cosmic magic of starting something new – of just having a go at something that we’ve never tried before. Our focus is all too often on the end result – on conquering our goals or completing ambitious projects. We are blinded by the perception that it’s our achievements that matter most – where we have ended with our journeys.

But I would argue that each of our lives is better defined by the variety and piquancies of its beginnings. By the joy of trying something new.

Toddlers don’t know if they’re any good at walking when they take their first steps, let alone fret if they’ll grow into marathon runners or dancers. They just know the experience is amazing. The giggles of a child taking its earliest wobbling strides express the joy of a new activity, with no burden of expectation.

We can all tap into that same joy just by giving something a go – by enriching our moments with beginnings and paying less heed to the end result.

This is even more pertinent today, when so many people feel as if their lives have been put on hold during the pandemic. No longer so preoccupied with our long-term goals, many of us have rediscovered the joy of dabbling in new pursuits – whether it’s trying our hand at juggling, yodelling, or cooking a new cuisine.

It’s when we try something new that we let go of all the heavy assumptions we have about ourselves and this world. Dropping notions of what we can and can’t do, who we should and shouldn’t be, our most profound hopes, talents and imagination seep to the surface.

Of the deities who rule the Hindu cosmos, among the most beloved and revered is Ganesha. Very dear to me, I’ve always turned to him when I’ve needed the confidence to make a fresh start, or sought the inspiration for new ideas. The regal elephant-headed god is found in the entrance of temples, honoured before all others – he is the god of beginnings, to be invoked whenever one starts something new. The ancient Hindus knew the power of beginnings required a god of its own.

Trying our hand at new things can also help us cleanse ourselves of the disappointments of the past – its failures, regrets and recriminations.

We need not begin a grand project intending to change history to find this energy; we just need to keep ourselves in touch with it. Whether we start a new hobby, friendship or listen to a brand new genre of music, we need only to keep contact with the mystical force of newness to bring that magic into our lives and enjoy its rewards – experiencing more openness of mind, creativity and a greater appreciation of the scale, variety and wonder of existence.

All of us can cook something we’ve never eaten before, paint a view that’s never been captured, dabble in a new language, or make small talk with someone we don’t know. Actions that require little of us plug us into the universe and its reservoir of potential – the merest drop of which makes our lives worth living. So what are you waiting for?

为什么不尝试新的东西? 发现只是试一试的好处 #抖音学习