November 14, 2020

Why You Need to Learn New Skills

When I was 10 years old, I’d learn anything new you’d put in front of me.

Skateboarding? I’ll try it.

Rubix cube? Hand it over.

Table tennis? Let’s have a game!

Social media wasn’t really a thing back then. There was no one to impress but myself and my parents.

Then, I grew a little older.

I passed through secondary school and eventually started university.

That’s when things got a little… stale.

Grow Old, Do Less.

As you grow older, society expects you to have a direction.

Time to decide is up, better choose something quick!

Not because it’s good for you, but because it helps us know what box to put you in.

And if you know your direction, nothing special about that, unfortunately!

But if you don’t, you’re a misfit.

There’s a lot of stigma around trying new things; society sees it as ‘he/she doesn’t have things figured out yet.’

Society wants you to specialise, not remain undecided.

You become exposed to more, but you engage with less.

Inevitably, you hesitate to learn new things.

Growth is Uncomfortable

To learn something new, you have to start from scratch.

That would make you a humble beginner — not everyone can accept that.

And why would they! People would see you and judge you, right?

Maybe, and maybe not.

You probably wouldn’t worry about what people think of you if you could know how seldom they do! – Olin Miller

A growth mindset comes hand-in-hand with the ability to dance with the fear of discomfort.

Most people can only stomach discomfort for short periods of time.

As we grow older, we feel entitled to drift through life without needing to endure this feeling again.

We’ve done our time; things should be easy from here on out, no?

By avoiding discomfort, we avoid growth.

Learning New Skills Makes You Feel Younger

Learning a new skill invites a flurry of new emotions and transformation.

Ignoring the bursts of dopamine you might be rewarded with, learning something new places you in a unique position:

As a beginner, you identify an unfilled space you have the potential to grow into.

As a beginner, you get to envision the changes that might come about to you, just as they have done to others.

As a beginner, you expand your world view and get closer to finding your real tribe.

Your world opens up.

So stomach the discomfort and ignore society’s expectations of you to have all the answers.

I feel 10 years old again.

And I think you should join me.

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