Thursday, July 10, 2014

Learn Something New Every Day

The hat helps the learning process
I want to learn how to play the guitar. I also want to learn how to play the saxophone, how to speak French, and how to finally use my Excel spreadsheets. I know I’ve joked in the past about not doing research for a blog post, but one of the things I enjoy most about writing is the research that has to go along with it. I’ve heard where some writers have become so obsessed with their research that they’ve forgotten to write their books. Some have found new interests or hobbies. It’s one of the reasons I enjoy reading biographies and history books, to learn something new, which I probably should have read about in high school if I wasn’t so busy doodling.

Learning something new helps stretch our mental capacity and sharpens our mind. It also helps us push past our comfort zones. Sometimes, we even discover that our comfort zones aren’t as narrow as we originally thought–except for roller coasters. Those are way outside of my comfort zone. It’s our fear of the unknown that quite often terrifies us, but learning can push us past those frightening barriers. The more we expand ourselves, the less of a foothold fear will have in our life.

I’ve often thought that if we can teach our children to read and to work hard that those two basics are enough to teach them everything else. It gives them the foundation upon which they can learn anything for themselves and not be trapped by social class. Finances, or the school system. If you have the ability to learn new things, then you are far ahead of the rest of the world. It puts them in charge of the journey and takes it out of other people’s hands.

Taking a break from learning
It’s also a great way to prove your worth to the business world. Being great at your career offers a certain amount of job security. However, being able to learn new things makes you a valuable asset to your employer that they will be more reluctant to let go. The more you know how to do, the more your worth as an employee increases. Where some people may have to be laid off where cutbacks happen because they can only do one job, your ability to learn new things increases your chances of being retained, because they know they can move you over to a different position and no one suffers.

As Sarah Caldwell said, “Learn everything you can, anytime you can, from anyone you can.” Everyone has something to teach us, even if it’s how not to do something. Never be so proud that you can’t sit at someone’s feet and listen to what they have to offer. The old adage, “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks,” does not apply to humans. We are in a society that is constantly evolving in technological advancements, the evolution of relationships, and the accessibility of world views. If you refuse to learn anything new, you run the risk of becoming obsolete and left behind in a world that is marching forward. Besides, as you learn new things, it not only stretches your mental capacity, but also enhances your ability to accept new concepts, thus is stretches your heart as well as your mind. I don’t know about you, but I believe our world could use more thinking people with expanding hearts. We’ve had enough of narrow-minded stupidity.

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  1. TGIF, Robbie! Well said! We've had a phrase in our house (that once began as a joke), "Well, I can go to bed now, I've learned something new today." And what was a joke, turned into something real. Whether it is learning how to do something (even as small as how to spell a word not known), to knowing a new thing, to learning an aspect of life or seeing something new, we made a conscious effort to make that phrase a reality. Sometimes the lessons are about each other or people. Sometimes it is a song. Or about an animal's ability. But it has to be new. And we are better every day for the learning.

    1. A great habit that should taught to each generation. The girls and I try to learn new words every day and Char loves fun facts. It's been a fun pursuit.