There are numerous ways to learn new things and there are always many things to learn. We have to learn some skills or information for our employment or to keep up with current technology. This learning may be more of an academic nature. Other things are skills for a new hobby we have chosen to learn about. Some things are physical skills like the steps of a dance or the way to play a different sport. Throughout life humans need to continue learning to keep their brains functioning well.
When I left university and entered the workforce I had no idea how much study I would need to do in the future to keep up with new theories, methods and knowledge. I did not realise how much change there would be down the track and that I would have to learn totally new skills such as how to use a computer.
As well as doing formal classes I have learnt many things through reading, watching DVDs and using the internet. These days there is so much information available, much of it for free. Friends have taught me various skills and sometimes I just work something out for myself but it is all learning. At times I even resort to reading the manual to learn how to learn a new gadget.
As well as doing further study at university and completing some TAFE courses for employment I have attended classes in hobbies such as pottery, creative writing and fabric printing. These were so much fun and allowed me to learn skills to express myself creatively.
I am eagerly anticipating an upcoming eight week course of creative expression which includes weaving, clay work, painting and collage. As well as learning new ways to be creative I will have the opportunity to socialise with others doing the classes. This adds another aspect of pleasure to the experience for me.
Sometimes trying to grasp and understand new information and skills is frustrating. It can be embarrassing if one can't master the skills or comprehend and remember the information. It may be one has to do a particular subject as part of a course of study and encounters difficulties. Such was the case for me when I had to do a statistics subject and maths is not my strong point. At first I was right out of my depth.
However, with help from our patient lecturer and fellow students I came to understand. Yes, I passed the subject and felt very satisfied that I hadn't given up. (I would have liked to have dropped the subject in the beginning, had that been an option. There are some courses I have dropped out of.)
One gets a feeling of pride at learning a new skill and sometimes it enriches one's life or makes something easier. Other skills, like learning to use a pottery wheel, bring pleasure enabling one to create beautiful things.
If one has a curious mind there are always questions which beg to be answered. Finding information, hypotheses and ideas on different topics is rewarding.
Learning new things isn't always easy or fun but there is satisfaction in mastering something new. Our brains thrive on variety and benefit from learning. Continuing to learn throughout life helps ward off dementia. I feel lucky to live in a time and place where there are many avenues for learning, no matter what age one is.