I recently saw a TED talk by Graham Shaw called “Why people believe they can’t draw – and how to prove they can.” I have always doodled in my margins, and have always wanted to be able to draw, so I took the time to watch his talk. And now I can do this!
He ended the talk saying that many people just say to themselves, I can’t draw, and that’s that. People accept this about themselves, but it’s not true. Anyone can learn to draw like this. He then said to imagine—what else do we think we can’t do? What boundaries have we put up for ourselves that we think we can’t break down?
It really made me think. My mom insists she kills every plant she’s ever owned. My dad says he could never concentrate long enough to finish reading a full book. My musical-prodigy boyfriend has given up playing violin several times because he “just can’t” figure out how to use a bow. I’ve given up learning three different languages so far, because I swear it’s just not how my brain works.
But…what if none of that is true?
What if our kindergarten teachers were right, and we can do anything we set our minds to? If it only took a fifteen minute TED talk to get me to draw adequately, are these other problems just as easily solvable? Is learning really just about having an open mind?
Drawing is unique in that it’s something we tend to assume people either “can” or “cannot” do. It’s not really something you learn. Same with singing, dancing, writing…but of course that’s not true, there are lessons and schools for all these things. Why do we limit ourselves so arbitrarily?
I highly suggest watching this video, linked here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7TXEZ4tP06c
It just may change everything.