Growing Your Brain, Forever

How’s your education coming along? While there is a good chance that you are out of school, that is no reason to stop learning.

When you think about the people you have known, the ones who are most fully alive, invariably, it is those who have never stopped learning who come to mind. These same folks have developed creative strategies to keep themselves from becoming stuck in a rut, no matter how comfortable that rut may seem.

Lou once told of a retired couple who felt that their evenings at home in front of the TV were becoming dull. So, they agreed to turn off the television every night for an hour and spent the time taking turns reading aloud to each other. They decided magazines and romance or detective novels were off limits, but everything else was open. They read some philosophy, some theology, and a great deal of biography. They really got into Churchill’s history of World War II. After doing this every evening for a few weeks, they found that their powers of concentration had increased. Most evenings, they never turned the television set on at all.

Many large organizations require some of their staff members to take a certain amount of continuing education every year. Many corporations help their employees pay for tuition. For some, this continuing education may seem difficult, but is education a line item in your personal budget? If it isn’t, should it be? With the proliferation of on-line courses – a lot of them free or with a minimal charge – you don’t even need to leave the house to learn something new.

Just because you are no longer in school, it doesn’t mean that learning has to stop. If you are like most folks, you have probably learned more since you graduated, than you ever did in school! Education is a lifelong endeavor. It’s good for your brain, because it doesn’t have to stop growing. In fact, the brain loves to learn and build new neural pathways. The brain stops growing because you stop challenging it.

If you are serious about personal growth, you will take time to nourish your intellect as well as your heart and soul. And it is a great way to evade that Law of Entropy we talked about yesterday…