Learning New Things

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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 stop learning anything new.

On a physiological level, learning new things is good for your brain and helps improve performance on a number of tasks.. It stimulates neurons in the brain, which forms more neural pathways and allows electrical impulses to travel faster across them. The combination of these two things helps you learn better. It can even help you stave off dementia.

Here are a few tips to help keep your learning and your skills sharp.

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.

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 to avoid learning something.

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.

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. They will be able to point you in the right direction for resources. Use their knowledge; it’s a good use of your tax dollars.

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.

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 an art as it is a science. You need to filter out what learning is not going to help you to satisfy your learning needs. This is something you’ll get better with over time.

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.

Or explore online. There is so much to learn at fingertips – you just need to know where to look. Here are 15 websites that are guaranteed to teach you something new.

Curiosity
curiosity.com
The app presents these pieces of facts and trivia in individual posts that feature the text and either an image or video (for the visual learners). It enables you to digest the information in less than ten minutes.

CuriosityStream
curiositystream.com
The streaming service offers the best quality documentaries that are guaranteed to broaden your knowledge. The annual fee is very affordable.

Gaia
gaia.com
Gaia is a streaming service that provides enlightening documentaries. If you are in search of resources for alternative healing, truth seeking, and personal transformation, it offers over 8,000 exclusive videos that will help expand your consciousness and manifest your reality in keeping with your true self. Small fee.

Coursera
developgoodhabits.com
The site provides well-curated courses created and delivered by well-known and respected universities around the world. You can choose from nearly 3,000 courses. For a fee, the site offers a certificate, which you receive after completing individual courses that are part of a specialization program.

Udemy
udemy.com
Boasting over 100,000 online courses available on diverse topics.The instructors are professionals and experts in their chosen fields.

Duolingo
duolingo.com
This app is brilliant for learning a new language, or at least some useful words!

YouTube
youtube.com
The online video giant is a treasure trove of videos and channels for you to learn something each and every day.

TED Talks
ted.com
TED talks are a fun and inspirational way to learn new things. They are also quite motivational. All for free.

Skillshare
developgoodhabits.comIOS
Most of the courses offered are interaction focused. Skillshare has more than 4 million students enrolled and over $5 million dollars in paid teacher salaries – yes, you can earn money as a teacher for Skillshare.

HowStuffWorks
howstuffworks.com
This site has a massive collection of podcasts, videos, and illustrated articles that explain a wide category of topics from the flu to Elon Musk’s plan to colonize the planet Mars.

Useless Facts
uselessfacts.net
This site contains thousands of factoids that may or may not be useful.

LitLovers
litlovers.com
Do you love literature? Here’s an online site that is composed of well-read individuals.

Blinkist
developgoodhabits.com
Blinkist is an app that gives you the important “cliff notes” versions of over 2,000 non-fiction books.

Highbrow
gohighbrow.com
Get bite-sized courses delivered daily to your email, courtesy of this site. The courses aim to fill in the gaps of our general knowledge.

LifeHacker
lifehacker.com
Improve your life and learn something new and interesting everyday with this weblog.

Yousician
yousician.com
With this app, you can learn how to play a musical instrument even while you’re on the go. This is ideal for beginners who want to learn how to play the piano, guitar, ukulele, and bass. There are also voice lessons. This looked very interesting. Need to suss it out as there is a fee involved.