By Marian Connor
I was thinking…
In order to know stuff we need to learn. In order to learn well we need to be curious.
“Wisdom begins in wonder.”
Life is a learning experience, as infants everything we encounter is new, our efforts are spent familiarising ourselves with the new skills required to survive and thrive.
Walking, talking, eating, reading, writing, singing, co-ordination, all fundamental life skills. Alongside this we learn subtle skills including social interaction, judgement of situations and how to make ourselves heard in acceptable ways.
At some point we feel comfortable, we know what is necessary to inhabit our world, eventually we may feel we have learnt enough. Perhaps after college or becoming confident in our career of choice we feel we are done with the whole learning thing. Okay occasionally we might give our learning a bit of a dust down, learn a little French before a weekend trip to Paris. Get to grips with the Viennese waltz, or that leaping thing from Dirty Dancing for a first wedding dance, or familiarise ourselves with obscure Chilean wines to impress a work colleague. But really, we feel we have our bases covered, I mean I can drive, cook, assemble flat pack furniture and people swoon over my pinboards.
I mean what’s to learn?
“Learning is the beginning of wealth. Learning is the beginning of health. Learning is the beginning of spirituality. Searching and learning is where the miracle process all begins.”
Even if you set aside the need to constantly familiarise ourselves with the changing pace of life and the technologies employed within it, there is everything to learn because you are alive, you live, you learn.
“Learning is not compulsory… neither is survival.”
W. Edwards Deming
Every day brings opportunities to see and feel in a new way, to discover nuances about life, ourselves and those within our lives.
We should be curious about the information we see emanating from the world around us, and oh what a wonder that curiosity is, I would say it is my drug of choice, my constant companion, it serves me well because when the going gets tough, I get to learning, on all levels, in all ways.
“In the midst of winter I finally learnt that there was in me an invincible summer.”
Learning is a gift, education changes the brain, new neural connections are created when we focus on complex tasks or specified goals. Ongoing learning allows easier access to the frontal regions of the brain resulting in better memory performance as it allows you to call up the reserves.
We have a habit of practising the things we are good at, but all our ‘good skills’ were a novelty once. Being open to learning, staying curious, creates opportunities for new adventures and pleasures which provide delightful little treats for the brain.
In a recent article in The Telegraph, the jazz singer, Gregory Porter said,
“I’ve always thought that a Saturday morning at home should be education time. I mean fun education, for example to cook a dish or reading about something new. So I put on documentaries, get a bunch of magazines and newspapers and use the morning to make myself better.”
I suggest you think about making yourself better. Choose some stuff you have always hankered to know or do and set about doing something about it. It will add to your life and the gift will keep on giving as you age.
“Anyone who stops learning is old, whether this happens at twenty or eighty. Anyone who keeps on learning not only remains young, but becomes constantly more valuable regardless of physical capacity.”
“For the unlearned, old age is winter; for the learned it is the season of harvest.”
Here are a few little gems you may like to master, or not. The choice is yours.
Let the alchemy continue with our seventh element, ‘Gratitude’ in our next blog post!
If we have whet your appetite for further discovery, keep in mind that we create interactive experiential workshops and events embracing the 8 elements, exploring a myriad of ways to enhance your happiness and health. Oh yes and let’s not forget these are beautifully packaged with individually created accoutrements for your delectation. All delivered by us, in a delicious way.
If you haven’t already read our introduction to the 8 Elements, why not check out ‘The Alchemy of 8’
Image Tile/Header- ‘The Music Lesson’ 1877 by Frederick, Lord Leighton
The Telegraph – 14th March 2015 Article ‘Chewing the fat and letting my mind drift’ by Gregory Porter interviewed by Olivia Parker
YouTube clip – How to Whistle With Your Fingers – The Art of Manliness (3 mins 06 secs)
YouTube clip – How to fold a T-shirt like a Pro – 3 ways- (1 min 16 secs)
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