"Anyone who stops learning is old,
whether at twenty or eighty.
Anyone who keeps learning stays young.
The greatest thing in life is
to keep your mind young."
- Henry Ford -
Henry Ford had it right. Almost every day I learn something new. Some things I learn are small but many things I learn are major. I love to learn. According to Ford learning keeps us young.
Sometimes as we get older, we tend to think that we have seen and/or heard it all. We tell ourselves that we know everything we need to know and a lot of stuff we don't. In reality, we don't know everything we need to know. The world changes - progresses - and if we don't keep up, we will be left behind. We will find ourselves outdated.
It doesn't matter when we pick up the learning bug, it can come at any stage of life. It can come after years of thinking we know it all...the important thing is, we catch it - catch that learning bug.
This may require you to step outside your comfort zone. It may require you to step into the unknown. Some new activities or interests may be complicated and require a lot of preparation, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't try. That only means that when it's all said and done, you made a huge accomplishment. Other new activities or interests may be quite simple and all you need to do and get up and do them or learn them.
Examples of Complicated Challenges that may require a lot of preparation but have huge pay-offs are:
- Acquire a new hobby such as:
- Needlecrafts such as cross stitch
- Writing (Poetry, Short Stories, your memoirs, etc.
- Develop a part time career that you really enjoy doing such as: Personal Chef; Personal Shopper; Sit with a home bound elder a few times a month; Teach someone a second language; Tutoring (reading to elementary or illiterate adults; Life Skills (balancing bank accounts; planning a menu; creating a livable budget;
- Sky Diving
- Run a Marathon
- Learn how to swim
- Teach a Skill that you already have (Reading to those who can't, art, swimming, etc.)
- Learn Ballroom Dancing!
- Join a Travel club or travel alone to a state or country you have always wanted to visit.
- ANYTHING you have ever wanted to do but didn't have time or your fear prevented you from trying...DO IT!
Examples of Simple Challenges that may only require the effort to get off the couch and do them are:
- Acquire a new hobbie such as:
- Learn Oil Painting
- Learn to Draw
- Learn Photography
- Learn Culinary Cooking
- Learn ANYTHING! Either by reading books or taking classes or just experimenting!
- Start Hiking (Short ones at first then increasing in length and difficulty)
- Volunteer! Volunteer at a local school, assisted living or nursing facility; become an advocate for children, animals, or the elderly; Pink lady at your local hospital (Pink lady where I live are ladies and men who assist visitors to the hospital and run the gift shop); serving at your local soup kitchen; Deliver Meals on Wheels a few days a month; etc.
- Take a class at your community college and learn a new subject such as: Computer Technology (using and repairing); Literature Course; A course on some type of social media (Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, twitter, etc.); etc.
- Purchase a healthy eating cookbook and cook one new recipe from it everyday until you have prepared every recipe in the book. Change your eating habits to healthy and learn new recipes at the same time.
- Join a gym and actually GO!
- Join a book club at your local library. Read and discuss books with other people (you benefit on many levels). If your library doesn't have a book club, START ONE!
- Join or create a game club. It can be cards (Hearts, Canasta, Uno, Rook, Bridge, etc.); Jenga; Board Games; Monopoly Club; Trivia Club; Movie Club (pick and watch movies together and alternate locations); ANYTHING you think would be fun to do with others, join a club and if one doesn't exist, start one!
- ANYTHING you can imagine or think of....give it a try. Learn something new either alone or with others.
The important thing to remember in this new year is that you are never too old to learn something new! NEVER!
Start small or jump into the major challenge right from the beginning. Once you learn one thing, go to the next, learn multiple things at the same time,
DO NOT BECOME STAGNATE!
Stay engaged and always learning and trying new things. Make 2018 the year of I CAN and I DID, instead of I WISH. THIS IS THE SECRET TO KEEPING YOUR MIND YOUNG!
Is there something you have always wanted to do but never had the time or you said to yourself I don't think I can do that? Give it a try. If you succeed, you have gained knowledge, if you fail, at least you tried and you still have gained knowledge. Do you make it a goal to learn something new every year? Every month? Every week? Every day? Look around you, experiment and learn something new!