People often think that there is an end point to learning, such as reaching a certain age or rung on the career ladder. It comes from a belief that we’re either too old for our brains to learn something new or that learning something new is no longer necessary.
When we’re in our twenties and thirties, a love of learning is not only considered socially acceptable, but it’s also admired. Then as we get older, it starts to feel less so. While those in there forties and fifties are typically out buying new cars, going on luxury vacations, or undergoing house renovations (not that there’s anything wrong with that), there are some of us who choose another indulgence – our brain.
When I sign up for a course or program, I put my heart and soul into it. Once it’s finished (and sometimes even sooner) I’ll be signing up for something else. It took me quite a while to realize that although I might not be considered the norm for someone my age, what I’m passionate about is totally normal. I love to learn something new and, from that new learning, I love the feeling that comes with it – like I’m a foot taller or my eyes are an inch wider.
The path of lifelong learning is not smooth, nor is it straight. It has no endpoint or destination. For some this is too uncomfortable to consider and for them the road to mastery must have an endpoint, if only to say: “I made it!” For the rest of us, we accept the bumps and forks in the road, and even the blind bends, because the insights, the growth, and the energy we get from learning something new makes life feel like one long and amazing journey.