Don’t tell me that you haven’t heard your grandparents, your parents or even your friends say that they are “too old” to learn? Have you said it yourself? I hope not because it is pretty common knowledge these days that your brain needs exercise too.
Human beings were born curious. Motivation to learn does not die or slow with age. Read, read everything you can, because reading is still the gateway to learning. If you don’t read well, it is not too late. I love to read. I just chuckled my way through one of the Walt Longmire mystery/westerns by Craig Johnson, but I still tell myself that I should read some biographies or even a text book once in awhile. Haven’t you at least thought about revisiting the classics? What about giving Algebra another chance, or the foreign language that nearly drove you crazy in high school? The subject that made you break out in a cold sweat in high school may just be within your grasp if you approach it differently; or so says Tom Trzyna PhD in an article written for the September 2012 issue of Northwest Prime Time (www.NorthwestPrimeTime.com). I love it when I stumble across an article that makes me think.
The author mentioned that retirement is a good time to start learning all over again. It is a good time to master one of the subjects that seemed impossibly hard the first time around. After reading this particular article I am wondering if I should give math another try. I am convinced that my fear of math is genetic, but what if it isn’t?
The learning process itself stimulates the brain so nothing that you try to learn is a waste of time. The author recommends the “For Dummies” series but sometimes I even find them too hard. What does that say about me? Anyway, I went to my library page and decided to try one of the “Math for the Clueless” series, and will see where that leads me. The author suggests that we can either allow our perspectives to get narrower or we can open up and learn new things.
Learning keeps grown-ups open to new ideas, skills, and opportunities. Embrace the joy of learning. Let your mind soar. Curiosity is not something confined to childhood. You will need a game plan though. Perhaps you can pick up a copy of Walden, The Iliad, or Green Mansions and just start reading, but most of you won’t stick to it. Writing styles have changes a lot over the years and old style literature will most likely bore you to tears. A literature class or even a good study guide might be needed to wade through the various mazes.
Be clear about what you want to learn. Is it something you want to know about right now or is it a long term project? Plan a course of action; something that matches your needs in terms of time and cost. Try a new approach (video or audio tapes, computer assisted learning, or a class at the local university). Fortunately we now have many resources at our disposal. Any significant learning will be hard work, but just think…we actually have the time now.