Yes, there is a first time for everything. The consoling line you get from onlookers or mentors when you fail abysmally.

The challenge does not lie in our experience or performance, but rather in our expectations. We tend to build it up in our minds. We plan to expand our experience, sure, but expect at least an above average experience as we do.

This expectation inevitably disappoints.

Somehow this unmet expectation taints the value of the experience and our association to future experiences. It’s unfortunate as it dilutes the value we could derive from coming experiences and immediately diminishes our returns, whether in pleasure, hope, fulfilment or courage.

It might be worth categorising first experiences differently. By approaching first experiences with the intention to perform, measure, benchmark or gloat, we run the risk of disappointment.

If we approach it with the intent to expand our horisons the outcome will always achieve our expectation. Perhaps not in the way we expected, but that’s sort of the point.

Here’s to many more first times, and the experiences to which they introduce us.

Matt Botsford

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