The psychologist and author of the book “Willpower is not working” Benjamin Hardy told in his column on Medium on how learning positively affects the brain, improves memory and makes a person happier.
In the book “The Blue Zones in Practice: How to Become a Long-Liver” writer Dan Buttner tells how to live a long and happy life. One of the secrets is to constantly learn something new. If you stop learning, you will quickly grow old.
Use different learning styles
It is very important to dedicate an enormous amount of time to learning one idea or thing. However, you must resort to different methods of teaching.
Of course, it is important WHAT you are teaching, but more importantly, HOW do you teach this. If you just read books, your brain will atrophy in certain parts, which will make you grow old faster.
We all have a predominant style of learning. In difficult situations, we rely on spare styles. But there are some that we deny and avoid.
Imagination: inventing ideas
Reflection: studying the ideas that you came up with
Analyzing: Synthesis of what you have been studying, and drawing up strategic plans for what to do next with ideas
Making decisions: The choice of one path by which you will follow with your idea
Act: Action that will help achieve your idea
Tests: examining the problem from different angles
Refer to more teaching methods, then your brain will function faster and better.
Allocate 15-30 minutes a day to study something new
As a child, you tried a lot of different things. Your brain has developed. Unfortunately, over time people stop experimenting with new activities. And this is wrong. Every day, learn something new. For example:
This is an excellent quench for the brain. However, one should not learn languages, relying only on one technique. Here are some tips on how to do this:
Watching movies in the original
Communication with media
Listening to music in a foreign language
Reading books in the original
Immersion in foreign culture
The more techniques you apply in practice, the better. In addition, even 15-30 minutes a day spent on active learning, will open and expand your consciousness.
This is also very useful for the brain. Try to turn the learning process into a game – in video games, for example, you have to perform quests or goals. Set yourself a small task. Learn to play the piano using the application on your phone. It’s fun and informative. In addition, it is always interesting how far you can go.
How does your brain change when you learn something new
First, learning improves memory. The biggest enthusiasts can develop practically photographic memory. This is quite real.
Secondly, the more often you can win small victories and achieve small goals, the more confident you will feel.
Thirdly, studying one subject can promote creative breakthroughs in other areas of your life. Mastering the subject with an entirely new learning style, the brain produces all sorts of unique links to your current occupation. This is called “indirect training”. Perhaps this is the most effective tool. This is how Albert Einstein, the Beatles and other best innovators and artists have achieved great results in science and creativity. For example, Albert Einstein worked in the patent office when he realized the relativity of time. The Beatles studied foreign music, which later became fathers and legends of rock and roll. One of the world’s leading chefs Grant Akats studied abstract art to find inspiration for his main work.
How to maximize results
Every day, learn something new (playing a musical instrument, language, cooking, traveling).
Despite the fact that you do this just for fun, set goals.
Turn the learning process into a game – you can, for example, organize a competition with your friends.
At least five times a week, give 15-30 minutes to these things.
Once in one or two weeks, conduct an intensive three-hour session of total immersion and concentration.
During such sessions, do fitness breaks every five minutes – for example, walk around the house or do 50 push-ups.
Drink plenty of water.
Always carry a notebook with you and write down all the creative ideas, regardless of whether they are related to your main field of activity or not.
Think about how the new skills will help you in the future. Be creative. For example, the author wants to learn how to play the piano to develop photographic memory and enhance creative thinking. Music helps him cope with difficult problems and express emotions. He also believes that this will be useful for his brain and creativity.
In other words: you must understand why you are doing something. However, you must also set small goals and achieve them, so as not to lose interest and continue to move in this direction.
When you study new things, you change. If you spend 15-30 minutes a day on new activities, completely focus on them and activate different areas of the brain, you become healthier and younger.
In addition, you are improving in those areas of life where you have already achieved high success. You can look at yourself and the world in a new way.
Impact on others
When you change yourself, your psychology, biology, environment and loved ones change. You start to communicate with people differently. You become more loving and responsive in a relationship. You start to love your friends and family more. You look at them differently. You notice little things. You appreciate them.
Your imagination expands, and you get rid of limited patterns of thinking. Once again, the essence of indirect learning is to look at things from the other side. Therefore, practicing, playing and overcoming yourself, you will understand how to improve the approaches that you use in work and other areas of life. If you do not, you miss too much.
Materials on the topic:
17 methods of brainstorming that promote creative thinking
Why planning the day will increase your productivity overnight
Recognize workaholism and find a balance between work and personal life: the advice of a career expert
5 reasons why you do not get enough sleep