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LIFELONG LEARNING: IS THERE A PERFECT AGE TO STOP LEARNING?

For the first part of our lives, we spend thousands of hours in classrooms year after year learning everything from simple math and grammar to calculus and essay writing. We spend so much time learning and learning, even though we’re limited in what we can process at such a young age.

Sometimes  people say: “I’m too old to learn.” Interestingly, these people truly believe that they are indeed too old to learn new things, skills, or concepts.

Learning is tough and can be frustrating. This is especially true when we talk about taking on new sports like crossfit, or pushing our brain to the limits trying to code. But although the task is hard, nothing is greater than reaching your accomplishment.

Most often you cannot receive more schooling, especially when dealing with critical issues that are fast-breaking and in which there is no body of formalized instruction. You will need to figure things out for yourself. For most leaders figuring things out is second nature; it is way they have arrived in positions of leadership. But the best leaders are those that are never afraid to ask questions. Rather than a question being a sign of ignorance; it is admission ticket to learning as well as a good way to build rapport and trust with colleagues.

When Do Adults Stop Learning?

Learning may require a bit more exposure, concentration and practice as we age, but we can and will continue to learn throughout our lifetime.  Listen, be interested, ask questions when you don’t understand, locate where you can find the information you want to know, and decide to learn!

There are always new skills to learn and techniques for us to adopt. When you look at the most successful people in the world, they understand this. Warren Buffet spends most of his time reading. The best entrepreneurs in the world don’t act like they know everything. They all understand the fact that they have to continuously learn to be successful.

Why do we give up the power that can be gained from knowledge? Why do we give up the joy of learning about new technologies and historical facts? Do our brains stop working and force us to quit?

The answer is no, our brains don’t stop working. On the contrary, we willingly forfeit our right to continue. We forfeit our right to continue empowering ourselves through continued education and increased understanding.

You Can Learn Anything.

So, don’t think you’re past the age of learning something new. Pick up a book, put down the remote, read newspapers and magazines, and make Wikipedia your friend.

There’s so much to be learned, so much to be gained from reading and actively learning. Go ahead, give it a try. Learning isn’t just for kids—it’s for anyone who wants to make their mark on the world and is willing to read one book at a time to do so.

While it is likely too soon to determine whether enriched learning and active aging can actually delay dementia and other serious health problems that come with time, the older student movement is just beginning.   The rising number of older university students already attending classes and the increasing acceptance of these students in university settings is already underway.  That lifelong learning can help older adults remain active and healthy is just another benefit.

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