Being a beginner is necessary
In 1482, Leonardo da Vinci moved to Milan.
He was a master—people admire his painting. But he absurdly introduced himself as a military engineer to Milan’s ruler Ludovico Sforza. Why would he do that? Why did he suddenly abandon what he already mastered and become a beginner?
Amare is a beautiful concept
The word amateur is derived from Latin, Amare—it means to love.
Amare is a beautiful concept. It gives us permission to try something new and expect to be bad at it.
As one of the studies found, beginners tend to make mistakes on their first try. But then, they increasingly make fewer mistakes afterward. In skydiving, for example, beginner jumpers are up to 12x to get injured than anyone who jumped at least once.
If we don’t give us permission to be bad, we are less likely to try.
If we don’t try something new, we won’t grow.
Permission to learn a new skill
Learning a new skill is beneficial for us.
One study that looked at young children who learned swimming lessons found benefits beyond swimming. The swimmers appear to have better eye-hand coordination than non-swimmers.
Amateur has a negative concept. There are a lot of labels to call a newbie in various industries: noob, rookie, or green. In chess, it’s “patzer.” In surfing, it’s “kook.” This would discourage many people. When you read the title above, you might feel a bit unsettled.
Perhaps, Leonardo understands that it’s important for him to become an amateur again—to have permission to try something new and expect to be bad at it.
We’re all amateurs and beginners at some point, and that’s not a bad thing.