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Today I want to showcase my two favorite things in life. One is arrived at through years of blood, sweat, and tears. The other, like so many of the best things in life, is absolutely free. These two things might seem contradictory, but I don’t think they are. One leads to the other.

First, I love being very experienced and skilled at something. I started working in pest management in 1986 and I’ve successfully completed thousands of ant, rodent and bat jobs. I’ve made hundreds of rookie mistakes—like the time I sprayed the wrong house and got chewed out for it—and overcome those mistakes to become a seasoned pest management professional. When I drive to a customer’s home to solve a pest riddle, I go with a quiet confidence that feels no need to boast. Being really good at something feels really good.

Second, I love that blessed gift of childhood: being a beginner. I love the excitement of, say, studying a new language. I love the thrill of learning those first few words. I love the adventure of traveling to a foreign country and working up the nerve to speak those words. Sure, I may sound clumsy, but they don’t throw you in jail for butchering a language. (Though I’ve come close in France!) If I won the lottery, I would spend the rest of my life learning new things just for the fun of it.  

If the devil made me choose between my two loves, I would always pick being a beginner. Knowledge and skills are finite, but learning is eternal and adventure is forever. Children are the luckiest people in the world… until they get their first job and spray the wrong house. Have an adventurous week, everyone!

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