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  • Writer's pictureRobert Stevenson

How To Make Hard … Easier

Robert Stevenson Blog - Are his hands "equally skilled"

I have a good friend who is an oral surgeon. One time we were talking about how he got so skilled at surgery, and he said that he started working on improving his non-dominant hand skills. He said that surgery requires two-hands, and his patients deserve to have a surgeon whose hands are “equally skilled.” So, he set out on the difficult journey to make his non-dominant hand to function just as efficiently as his dominant hand.

Making that a reality was a challenging and frustrating undertaking that required enormous patience and determination. This has nothing to do with you being either left-handed or right-handed. Even though studies have shown that approximately 85% of the human population is right-hand dominant … I am not addressing the issue of why that is. Regardless of which hand you prefer to use, your preferred hand (dominant) is hooked up to the opposite side of your brain. Experts say, using your “other” hand (non-dominant) helps your brain to better integrate its two hemispheres, but that is a discussion for another day.

Your two hands may look the same, but they sure don’t behave the same; at least mine don’t. Take an hour and use your non-dominant hand to control the mouse on your computer; in just one hour you will see just how skilled your dominant hand is compared to your “other” one. You will struggle. You will feel clumsy brushing your teeth with your “other” hand. Give eating soup a try … but have a napkin close by. Your “other” hand is a slacker; it is clumsy, lacking the coordination and dexterity of your dominant hand.

The doctor started doing all his dominant hand tasks with his “other hand.” Brushing his teeth, combing his hair, eating, using the remote control on his TV … whatever he naturally did with his dominant hand, he started forcing himself to do with his “other” hand … even writing. Within a year he noticed a remarkable change in his surgical skills and so he kept at it, until it made no difference which hand he used, they were “equally skilled.”

The point I am trying to make today is … to improve your skills you have to stretch yourself and you can only do that by attempting things you have never done. Success comes to those who are willing to learn the skills necessary to make them better at whatever they want to do. One rule to remember … if you are feeling comfortable doing it, you aren’t stretching enough.

Comfort Comes from DiscomfortChallenge Yourself and Reap the Rewards


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