Learning is a lifelong process that isn’t constrained to the 20+ years that most of us spend with our heads buried in textbooks all-the-while listening to countless lectures that blend together into a miasma of incoherence. Our ability to learn doesn’t diminish when we exit our teen years and enter into the world of “adulthood”. It is an ongoing process that continues until we cease to exist.
Much like the muscle groups that determine our strength and give us the ability to walk, run, and climb, our brain is a muscle that needs to be constantly exercised or it will atrophy. I spent years training in track and field and achieved great measures of success, only to allow my physique to slip into the world-renowned decay that is known as the Dad-Bod. Every now and then, I’ll get back out on the track and I quickly realize that I can no longer do the things that I was used to. Not for lack of trying or ability, but simply because the muscle I need to endure the amounts of strain that sprinting puts on my body, are no longer being actively engaged. Our minds work much the same way.
Because of the malleability of the mind, I’ve committed myself to a lifelong curriculum of learning that contains various areas of knowledge where I feel I might be deficient. I create learning projects to stimulate my brain and encourage the muscle to grow instead of atrophy. I play brain-strengthening games leveraging apps such as Luminosity. I study vocabulary. I even began self-studying Japanese to debunk the myth that an individual could not easily attain second-language native proficiency in adulthood.
There are many reasons to value learning and to continue doing so even after you step outside of your last classroom setting. Knowledge is power, so why limit yours?