The bliss of being a beginner
For a grown-up, one of the biggest perks of starting a civic initiative is the opportunity to be a beginner again.
All of a sudden, you get to do things you’ve never done before. You learn new things, you meet different people, you use yourself differently than you’re used to.
At first, it can feel a bit scary, being the new kid on the block all of the time. But at the same time, you see everything with fresh eyes, and you’re not limited by previous experiences. Once you get used to that feeling, it’s a little bit like reclaiming playfulness and desire to learn as a natural part of adult life. Here, it’s okay to make mistakes, learn from them and loudly exclaim ‘how fascinating!‘ when things don’t go according to plan. Another lesson learned …
You’ll get far if you see your project as a training camp, an experimentarium, an observation post and an adventure playground.
Follow the lead of Lars AP who founded the movement Fucking Flink:
The movement Fucking Flink (‘fucking nice’) is a good example of how one man started with himself and his own wonder – and ended up contaminating all of Denmark with his enthusiasm. According to Lars AP himself, it all started with a narcissistic project: Lars is half Danish, half American, and he wondered why he felt happier, nicer and more extrovert when he spoke English. And became shy and guarded when he spoke Danish.
And then he began to wonder why the world’s happiest people weren’t the world’s nicest people. He started talking to his friends about this – and amongst others he interviewed an economist, a social scientist and a meteorologist to understand where on earth the niceness had gone. He wrote a book, made a Facebook page, and suddenly his own wonder had turned into a nation-wide movement. Nowadays, both the term and the action ‘at flinke’ (‘to nice’) has become a natural part of everyday life for many Danes.