Sometimes trying just a little to see if you like it makes sense.  Just a little of the brussel sprouts or one chocolate scorpion will give you a good idea.  But it can’t get you past the psyched out, wired up pitch you’ve put yourself in so you can actually experience the tastes and textures and know if you actually like them.  In fact, the first bite of something you are scared you won’t like, usually confirms your expectations.  It’s only after you get over that emotional bit that you are able to truly have the experience and know whether you like it or not.

In many cases doing just a little of something is actually worse than not doing it at all, because doing a small amount and not getting the result you expected, reasonable or otherwise, can dissuade you from doing something that might have become your passion or might have allowed you to achieve your goals in life or just given you a thousand hours of joy.  For example, plucking one string on a guitar to see if you want to be a guitarist really isn’t a good test.  Because there isn’t just one thing called a guitar, there are all kinds.  And there isn’t just one way to play a guitar, there are many.  The only way to know for sure is not to just pluck one string, but enter into an adventure of exploration.  Explore the guitar, rent one, take classes, don’t expect to be a virtuoso, and feel how you feel while you’re doing it.

It’s said that to become expert at something means that experts put in 10,000 hours at something.  Does that mean they hated every minute?  That it was excruciating and they were unbalanced protegés whose lives were martyred for their art?  That is was all joy and every minute was like having blessings licked on by kittens?  That sweet music played and children’s laughter was heard while they were doing?  Possibly, but none of those extremes have been my experience.  They make great movies and dramas, horror stories and overcoming adversity segments for the news, but the reality is that the doing of the thing is the goal, not the grand goal of being expert.  The amount of effort we put into something, through the good, the bad, and the ugly and the excellent matters.

And it shows.  Effort isn’t a guarantee that a long-term goal will be achieved.  Putting effort into something you hate, are guilted into, feel forced to do by circumstances isn’t the best use of your time.  Putting effort into something that could possibly bring you joy, could facilitate a better life for you and therefore those around you, that could fulfill your dreams lofty or precious or delicate and new-born, that’s worth doing more than just a little bit.  The amount you invest in you matters.  You matter.