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If you’re wondering why a person would choose to become ambidextrous, you are not alone.
As I peel back my memory and try to think of why I wanted to become ambidextrous, I am wondering all the things too. Does it help that my memory is faulty at best? Not particularly!
But none of that matters. As with any exploration, there are lessons to be learned, values to be obtained, and stories to tell. Plus, exploring how to become ambidextrous lands squarely in the fee-free zone as a free and fun hobby! All the tools you need are… at hand… 😬
Why Is Learning So Hard?!
Every time. It doesn’t matter if I am challenging myself to something small like writing with my nondominant hand or big like learning to ride a motorcycle, learning is hard! It should be called hardening. That sounded better on my head than digital paper.
Exploring throws me into the backseat of how I typically operate, which is full speed in the comfort of my designated zone. Most things I have been doing habitually for years, choosing to do something new throws me into a very uncomfortable zone.
As an adult, I feel the urge to know and be good at everything. Spoiler Alert: I am not. This is the value of exploring something new. It quickly humbles me and makes me feel like a small, frustrated child.
I messed up a lot and tried to reframe that as “learning”. I forced myself to laugh at my mistakes. A lot. Growth mindset meet fixed mindset.
Practice for Funzies
Of all the skills I have tried, teaching my left hand to write legibly was one of my easier endeavors. I didn’t need any special skills or equipment. I just needed time to write an excessive amount of ugly words.
It was easy to find writing material. As with many modern households, we have oodles of scrap paper that I keep on hand for to-do lists and other random shenanigans.
I knew how to write, thanks to my right hand, so I tried to adapt those skills to my left hand. The biggest challenge was practicing.
I started forcing myself to do things with my left hand. Writing a note from a phone call? I practice my ambidexterity. Need to leave a message for Mr. BuLL? Good luck reading that after I practiced my ambidexterity. Signing for a bill?
Not looking guilty after passing back the receipt because I did the thing and practiced ambidexterity.
It’s these little opportunities that built up habits of success. It’s not like these people know that I can write better than a third-grader. They probably think I just have awful handwriting, I can live with that.
How to Become Ambidextrous: Question Everything
Why did I do this? Who would put themselves through this ego-checking, ugly-writing, backseat-adulting process? Why this of all the free hobbies in the world? Outside of sounding cool?
I thought that being able to write with my nondominant hand would be handy if I ever broke my right hand. It’s also an opportunity to build up strength and fine motor skills with my left hand, which is by default weaker.
Plus, if I ever want to become a secret agent being ambidextrous has to be a required skill. Right? However, the fact that I am blasting about becoming a “secret agent” on the interweb is probably not improving my odds…
I bring up this peculiar statement because I needed to have a good reason as to why I am choosing short term frustration. This mindset buoyed me through the rough seas of disappointment.
Good Is Good Enough
I don’t shoot for perfection. Seriously, it’s the worst. Perfection manipulates fun into frustration.
Unless I am learning something that mandates perfection like brain surgery which by all means, I will perfect those skills! But for everything else, I don’t chase the impossible.
The goal of any new skill is to learn it as best I can, in that moment. If I keep looking for perfection it will turn everything into not good enough.
Then its ugly cousin procrastination would come for a visit and, eventually, I’ll be sharing a bathroom with regret. It’s an ugly family dynamic that starts with the impossible idea of perfection. I try not to engage with it, similar to toxic people, some things are better left on a blocked list.
I celebrated my accomplishments. I kept a small piece of where I started and would compare it to where I was now happily residing.
This was a huge confidence booster! When I first started writing with my left hand, I randomly decided to keep some of those scribbled atrocities. When I was feeling particularly frustrated, I looked back at how much I had progressed. This boosted my confidence and encouraged me to keep with it. Progress beats perfection everytime.
Anything worth achieving is going to take effort. This is good and bad news. The bad news is that I won’t be ambidextrous by reading a wikiHow article about how to become ambidextrous.
Instead, I will have to put in time and effort. This is the good part! I am putting energy into something that matters and by default enriches my life and my life list. I am practicing and focusing on what matters to me. Now, it’s off to wikiHow for how to become a secret agent….