3 Reasons to Keep Learning Throughout Your Life


A recent survey conducted by the Hong Kong Publishing Professional Society found that 60% of people surveyed under the age of 18 admitted to not reading books. Which is a pretty striking finding considering that people in that age bracket are typically in education and could reasonably be expected to be at the peak of their reading prowess.

But other research has suggested that a startling number of people in fact never finish another book in their lives after leaving school.

If these findings are anything to go by, it seems that many people may wake up one day to find themselves paying for care home fees, while having spent a pitifully small proportion of their lives actively seeking out new knowledge.

Here are some reasons why it’s critically important to keep learning new things throughout your life, rather than stopping at the end of your school career.

Learning new things keeps your brain growing and healthy

Norman Doidge did a good job of describing recent findings in the field of neuroplasticity, in his book “The Brain That Changes Itself”.

In the book, Doidge points out various examples of people who suffered some degree of damage to their brains, and who were able to regain function by learning new skills, or by training their brains to adapt to new ways of doing things.

Neuroplasticity is, in short, the discovery that the brain keeps changing and making new connections throughout a person’s life. Learning new skills appears to heighten neuroplasticity, and there’s a fair amount of evidence to suggest that elderly people who keep mentally active, and who constantly push themselves by expanding their understanding and skill sets, maintain better mental health and function than those who don’t.

Novelties helps you to create more powerful memories

Have you ever noticed how time just seems to flash by ever more quickly, the older you get?

One idea for why this happens is that, when we’re young, we’re constantly having new experiences, and each of these novel experiences registers in our memory banks. So when we look back over a few years, we have a large assortment of memories to recall.

When we become older, however, we typically settle into routines. We do roughly the same stuff each day, and as a consequence, we form less vivid memories. Then, when we look back, it seems like the years have blurred together.

Learning new things and having new experiences into old age, can help you to have a richer and more memorable experience of life in general.

You’re likely to have more fun if you’re constantly in the process of learning

Learning new things isn’t just a chore that you put yourself through for some greater health benefit. It’s also something that can and should be really fun and fulfilling all by itself.

As you find yourself improving in a particular area of life, or getting better at a particular hobby, you are likely to find that you take a lot of pride from the process and have a pretty good time in general.

Life just tends to be better when you’re applying yourself earnestly to something.
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