Question: Some people say that beginners have all the luck; others claim that success comes only with practice. What are your experiences of doing things for the first time?
Answer: The first time I jumped into the sea and tried to swim, I sank. In addition to that, I had to bear the choking taste of salt water running into all the openings of my body. My eyes smarted, my nose felt awful a d Ip was unable to hear properly. I shot straight back out of the water and stood in the waist-deep water coughing out the offending liquid. While I stood there suffering the consequences of my first venture into the sea, my friends were laughing themselves silly. If that was what is known as “beginner’s luck”, I would have none of it.
In the case of swimming, success came only with practice lots of it. It did not come easy. Only after several water-drinking sessions and much perseverance on my part did I succeed in swimming a few yards. It was exhilarating to be able to glide through the cool water gracefully.
The first time I tried to ride a bicycle, I crashed into a tree. The first time I tried to fly a kite, I ended up making another one for the first was too badly damaged from all the unintended fails and dives to the ground. Luck was not with me too when I fried my first egg or rather burned my first egg. Along with the aborted first attempt at swimming, these activities that require skill always ended up incomplete and often painful failures. Only after acquiring the necessary skills could I perform any one of them successfully. Luck had nothing to do with it. On the contrary, I do seem to have more bad luck than good. Skinned knees, broken kites, and dejected feelings bear testimony to this fact.
However, when it came to doing things that largely involved the element of luck, I was indeed lucky. The first time cast my line into the water, I caught a fish in record time. I had never fished before and my elder brother had to thread the worm onto the hook for me. On top of that, I had no idea what to do except to hold the rod in my hands. Nevertheless, a fish took the bait and all I had to do was to lift the rod and presto, I caught a fish. All that day I landed fish after fish much to the chagrin of my brother, who could do nothing right.
I became hooked to fishing. Who would not be? It is every angler’s dream to catch fish after fish as though they waited in line to be caught. Later on, when I became more “skillful”, my luck deserted me and I had to be content with a fish or two. Often it was none at all. Beginner’s luck does not remain with one, especially when one stops being a beginner.
The same beginner’s luck seemed to hold true when it came to playing cards, snakes and ladders, and other board games. I used to win most of the games I played in, especially when I played them for the first time. I suppose when I first learned a game, I was reckless and that must have given me an edge over the more ‘skillful’ players. Skill had nothing to do with ludo, or snakes and ladders. Only luck mattered. It was wonderful to be a beginner and win everything in sight. When I became a “veteran” I stopped playing these games for then I lost as often as I won.
So, there you have it. Beginner’s luck is aplenty only if an activity is based mainly on luck. When it comes to a thing that requires skill, no amount of luck can help. Only time and effort will ensure success.
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