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Learning New Things

Many people stop the process of learning new things once they get to a certain age. When they start their jobs after college, they are still in learning mode, so they pick up new skills. But, over time, they are not learning anything new.

However, people should always learn something new. The following are tips to help keep your learning and your skills sharp.

  1. Determine Learning Milestones

Figure out what you want to learn and then come up with a plan on how you want to accomplish it. Determine a set of milestones that you use to measure your success.

  1. Find Your Reason for Learning

It’s nice to learn about life’s mysteries, but there are only so many hours in a day. You should seek out why you want to learn something. It could be that you have always been curious about a certain subject. That’s okay. But, try to focus on learning that can somehow improve your life. The topics or skills you choose, may get you a promotion or land you a dream job. Without having a specific reason, you may find it easier not to learn something.

  1. Use Your Local Library

Too many people believe the library is not as useful as it used to be. That is simply not true. Many subjects are not digitized due to the costs associated with doing so. Specialty topics won’t have the audience to make digitizing worthwhile. Therefore, seek out information in your local library when learning new subjects.

  1. Speak to a Research Librarian

Research librarians know how to find good information. They may be able to tell you some steps to take in your path to learning. Even if they can’t, they will be able to point you in the right directions as far as resources. Use their knowledge. This is a good use of your tax dollars.

  1. Use the Web

As obvious as this sounds, you should use the web when learning new subjects. However, don’t just settle for a simple Google search. Try to find uncommon, but useful, resources that can help you get more in depth knowledge about subjects you are interested in learning.

  1. Determine What is Not Useful

Just as important as knowing what you want to learn, is to avoid learning what isn’t needed. This is as much art as it is science. You need to filter out what learning that is not going to help you with information that will satisfy your learning needs. This is something you’ll get better with over time.

  1. Discover Different Angles

When you are in school, you are taught subjects based on a curriculum. Each student learns similar topics. There is nothing wrong with this way of learning. However, try to discover different angles to a topic that others have not yet explored. The process of discovery itself can lead to interesting facts and makes the learning process much more enjoyable.

 

Actionable Steps

1.

Refresh your knowledge on a subject you haven’t had exposure to for a while. If you’ve been away from the learning process for any length of time, this is a good way to get the juices flowing, so to speak. It can be a subject that your kids are learning, and you can piggyback off their knowledge, or it can be a subject you learned about in college.

2.

Vow not to watch television for a week. Instead, make a plan to learn something and find resources to read about that topic. Then, spend the time you would be watching television on reading about the subject.

3.

Get in the habit of quizzing yourself on topics you are learning about. There are plenty of online quiz generators, or you can find existing quizzes on those topics. Do this at least once a week.

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