If all of us are born with a natural and active curiosity, how come so many of us grow up resisting learning? And, why do so many people look at learning as an unpleasant and difficult experience, when all of us come into the world as active, eager learners?
Well, we turn off to learning – because that’s what we learned to do. If our parents taught us, through words and action, to expect failure, disappointment and boredom from life, we believed them and behaved accordingly.
If there wasn’t anything in our educational environment to counteract these mistaken beliefs, they became etched into us even deeper. Then, we learned to protect ourselves from the pain of disappointment by pretending not to care or by distracting ourselves with easily obtained comforts.
However, by using the proper tools and techniques, we can unlearn those negative ideas and put positive ones in their place. We can test the usefulness of our beliefs, and, if we choose to, we can change them. As an added benefit, many studies have shown that active learners live longer, stay healthier and, most importantly, have a richer quality of life.
We can become lifelong learners, open to the world of possibilities all around us, and open to expanding our own body of knowledge and understanding. With today’s availability of on-line courses – many of them free – so much more is within our reach. Healthy brains actually crave new input, and actively create new neural pathways when given the opportunity. Neuroscientists have proven that the brain continues to grow, as long as we are providing it with the opportunity for new input.
What do you think? Does a lifelong learner sound like something you might like to be? Let’s give our brains the opportunity to grow every day!