On day one of our recent China trip, I thought I was in trouble. We sat down to have our first meal in the country and the waiter handed me a pack of chopsticks. Uh-oh!
I was horrible. The first week I lost about five pounds. Not because the food was bad. It was because I was a disaster with the sticks.
There was no turning back, though. No forks in sight. It was sink (starve) or swim time.
After a week, I began to get the hang of them. After two weeks, I was showing signs. By the end of the trip, they were suggesting that I take on an Asian name.
Using chopsticks three times a day for three weeks reminded me that proficiency is available in almost any discipline. But discipline is required.
Any time you try something new, there definitely is a learning curve. Unfortunately, the curve is when most people give up. For some reason we all like straight roads more than the crooked ones.
The best places are at the end of crooked roads. Places where the view is worth the effort to get there.
On the last night of our trip I attended a cookout with our team members and a group of Chinese high school students. The meal was Grilled Chicken and baked beans. It was the first western meal I had eaten in a couple of weeks.
I found myself sitting by a young boy from China, both of our plates loaded down, but with one noticeable difference. In his hand was a shiny American fork, and in mine was a set of old wooden chopsticks.
In that moment I was proud of us both. For we both had mastered the challenging “lesson of the learning curve.”
When was the last time you tried something new?