Learn Something New
June 24, 2014
I’ve been absent from this blog for a while. Why? Because I’ve been learning something new. I am learning what it takes to get a book published. I am learning that turning what I write into a book is a process all its own. I am meeting new people, learning a new “language”, learning to see with a different lens, and learning a new form of patience.
Learning something new is good for you. Research has shown that keeping the mind engaged can prevent or at least delay diseases like Alzheimer’s and dementia. My father, at almost ninety -one, does a crossword puzzle everyday. Several years ago he learned a new card game and now he plays in card tournaments. He has said to me that he tries to learn something new every day. It might be a good discipline to ask myself every night as I get in bed, “What did I learn today?”
Learning something new makes you a more interesting person. Have you ever felt like you were boring yourself to death? Has anyone ever told you that you were getting boring? Learn something new. You can share what you are learning with your friends, with your partners, and with your children. And when you teach something to others, you learn it…digest it…at an even deeper level. So learn something and then teach it to someone else.
I have a client who picks a topic every year and then he commits to studying that topic. This year it is linguistics. Last year it was the prophets of the Old Testament. One year he wanted to learn how small engines worked so he could fix them. He also has learned how to train dogs. He’s giving his brain a workout.
Many years ago I read an article that said that learning a foreign language (to include the language of reading music) was one of the best treatments for depression. Imagine that! If we all learned to speak another language, we might just feel better. I am sure that learning another language engages a new part of the brain. My husband and I recently learned, (actually I re-learned) how to play Canasta. It was fun, and in some ways it was a new language. It challenged us. We are also learning how to dance the rhumba. That is a workout for the brain and the body. Learning a new dance, like any new sport, requires that your brain make some new pathways and integrate information that it didn’t have before.
So try something new. The world beckons to you. Whether it is a new sport, a new language, a new game, or a new intellectual pursuit, try something new. You will feel better!
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