Feel like your education ended the day you walked across the stage and threw your graduation cap in the air? Learning doesn’t have to be over!
There’s so much to be curious about … and so many enjoyable ways to expand your mind nowadays. From celebrity-taught Masterclasses on everything from French culinary techniques to photography, to TedTalks by the leading thinkers in every topic imaginable to free woodworking tutorials you can watch on YouTube, information is everywhere and ready for the taking.
And here ten good reasons why you should take the initiative to keep learning:
YOU’LL BECOME A MORE INTERESTING PERSON.
Someone will ask what you’ve been up to and you’ll say, “Well, lately I’ve been going on hikes and learning how to identify wild edibles around here. There’s actually one that probably grows in your backyard that you can totally pick and add to your salads!” Engaged people are the most engaging.
YOUR BRAIN WILL STAY YOUNG.
Use it or lose it!
“Eventually, your cognitive skills will wane and thinking and memory will be more challenging, so you need to build up your reserve,” says Dr. John N. Morris, director of social and health policy research at the Harvard-affiliated Institute for Aging Research. “Embracing a new activity that also forces you to think and learn and requires ongoing practice can be one of the best ways to keep the brain healthy.” Read the full Harvard.edu article, “Train Your Brain.”
YOU’LL GROW DEEPER RESPECT FOR OTHERS.
When my husband and I set out to build a tiny house and had to learn from scratch how to frame a wall, wire an electrical system and keep your windows water-tight, we appreciated and SO respected the wisdom and expertise of the people who’d dedicated their lives to construction … and the ones who shared their wisdom with us.
YOU’LL BE MORE ATTRACTIVE.
Given that you’re not touting your new knowledge in a super annoying way, pursuing your interests and seeking to grow your knowledge and skills will create new facets of who you are that your partner (or a potential one!) hasn’t yet experienced. And those new, unknown parts of you create attraction. And mystery. They guard against that feeling of overfamiliarity that can happen with someone you’re so close to and transform you into a whole new person in their eyes.
YOU MIGHT UNCOVER A NEW PASSION.
Feel like you’ve lost yourself or forgotten what it is you like to do for fun? Diving into learning, whether it’s on foreign policy or how to make alterations on your own clothes, just might reveal a new fascination.
YOU’LL HAVE MORE MEANINGFUL FREE TIME.
I’ve started keeping a To Learn list (kinda like a To Do list) on Pinterest. It’s mainly for skills I’d love to master, like canning foods and baking bread. I save articles, talks and tutorials there to remind myself to dive into those things when free time emerges. If you’re going to relax and you’ll enjoy baking bread much more than scrolling through Instagram, why not bake the bread!?
YOU MAY BE ABLE TO DEMAND A HIGHER PAY RATE.
Is a missing skill set or area of expertise keeping you from delivering more at work and charging for it? Maybe it’s time to pursue a new certification or even degree.
YOU’LL MAKE NEW FRIENDS.
Who knows who you’ll meet when you sit in on the college class or show up for the MeetUp or weekend seminar at the library!
YOU’LL BE MORE HELPFUL.
Maybe not to everyone, but your newfound knowledge will certainly end up being helpful for someone – whether you lend your “upleveled” gardening skills to your elderly neighbor or your extra produce can be donated to a soup kitchen, the fact that you took the time to develop your green thumb, for instance, will end up being helpful if you just keep your eyes open for the people who need you.
YOU’LL KNOW THAT YOU’RE GROWING!
Being proud of yourself, because you can feel yourself grow, is one of the best feelings. Period.
Hope you’re inspired to get your nose back in the books! Happy learning!