A few years ago, as he watched his young daughter try out one hobby after another, a thought crossed Tom Vanderbilt’s mind: Why do we work so hard to get our kids to learn new skills when most of us adults stopped trying new things ages ago? For Tom, that contradiction became a call to arms. In defiance of the usual objections — it’s too late! you’re too old! — he took up chess, surfing, singing, juggling, and drawing. His goal wasn’t to gain mastery. He just wanted to prove to himself (and the eventual readers of his wonderful new book) that no matter how old you are or untalented you feel, being a beginner is a great way to stimulate your brain, meet new people, and bring a little adventure into your life.
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