Same old, same old? Or learning something new?
Whether you're still a student in the formal sense or not, there are countless benefits to learning a new skill. We have a saying in Icelandic "svo lengi lærir sem lifir" which means that while you are alive you are always learning something. Some people even say they attend the School of Life. Whether this rings true to you or not, there's no denying that learning something new can be very beneficial.
Some of the main benefits of learning something new include:
Your actual brain chemistry changes, as there is an increase in the density of the white matter in your brain (myelin) that helps improve performance on a number of tasks.
It can also be fun and fight boredom.
It can give you a sense of accomplishment, pride and contentment.
Unlike watching TV, learning a new skill is active and not passive. This can bring about a sense of fulfillment.
Learning has been shown to help stave off dementia.
It also fuels your creativity with connections between skill areas being made.
Back in the late 1990s, I met Rich, a 91-year-old man from the US, who was attending the same Spanish school as me in Costa Rica. Rich was still travelling the world and a beginner in Spanish, and wanted to add to his skill sets and keep himself alert and active. By the end of his stay in Costa Rica, he was able to hold a conversation with the locals and bargain with the taxi drivers.
Let Rich be an inspiration to you! It's never too late to learn something new, be it a new language, baking, dancing salsa, scuba diving, carpentry, riding a bicycle, coding etc. etc.
What do you want to start learning today?