You’re Never Too Old to Learn New Tricks

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There’s always time to pick up a new skill.

They always say you can’t teach an old dog new tricks. Obviously, the meaning to that is that an old dog is either too old to endure training for something new, or is otherwise too set in its ways to be bothered with any kind of change to its routine. Perhaps that’s true of dogs, but people are a little more complicated than we often give ourselves credit for. Is it much easier to learn new skills when you’re younger? Yeah, probably. You tend to be more receptive to new information in your younger years, not to mention richer in free time. But if you’ve got the drive to do so, you can learn new things whether you’re 40 years old or 80 years old.

Studies show that despite popular assumption, a statistically average human brain is still perfectly capable of obtaining and retaining new information even into old age. Rather than a physical disability preventing older folks from retaining new information, the biggest barrier to picking up new knowledge is actually confidence. Have you ever tried to learn some kind of new doodad or social media thing, maybe to help you stay in touch with your kids or utilize the convenient services everyone’s talking about? Or, more relevant to this site, maybe you’re in need of a new professional skill to stay in the game in your career? It can definitely be a bit overwhelming, which is why a lot of people (like my own parents) simply say “I’m too old” and leave it at that.

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But you’re not too old, you’re just overstimulated. If you want to take it slow and steady, there are all sorts of helpful learning tools and classes out there that cater more to older clientele. Just likes kids, you have your own learning style, and once you determine what that style is, you can pick up any new skill your heart desires.

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3 weeks ago
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