Learning new things has a multitude of benefits. There are the benefits you can see, like helping you to get in to university or to get a new job, and the benefits you can’t see.
You can’t see the increase in confidence and sense of achievement you gain from learning a new skill.
You can’t see the greater feeling of self-esteem and purpose.
You can’t see how learning something new has increased your sense of satisfaction and happiness, leading to better wellbeing.
Taking a course also often leads to connecting with other people and giving yourself some direction - it’s also a great way to improve your wellbeing.
Campaign for Learning actively work to promote the benefits of learning, running national campaigns and events and, like NEC, they believe in lifelong learning.
They define learning as:
‘...a process of active engagement with experience. It is what we do when we want to make sense of the world. It may involve the development or deepening of skills, knowledge, understanding, awareness, values, ideas and feelings, or an increase in the capacity to reflect. Effective learning leads to change, development and the desire to learn more.’
By learning something new we see things from a new perspective and satisfy our curiosity. Studies have shown that people that do this generally feel more contented.
Curiosity is the reason we want to learn and try new things, it helps us to see things from a different perspective. Take this image for example - what do you see?
You might see a duck or you might see a rabbit. Now you realise it could be either, your curiosity has been piqued and you’ve looked at it from another perspective and can probably see both animals.
So how do we satisfy our curiosity and look at things from another perspective? We learn something new.
There are many ways you can learn something new informally. Try looking up when your walking for a different perspective, reading a magazine, watching the latest David Attenborough documentary or even just asking a friend to teach you about their skill or favourite subject.
You can also consider formal learning, like the online courses that NEC offers, or at a local community college or university.
There’s a world of learning out there to satisfy your curiosity, see things from a new perspective and improve your wellbeing, where will you start?
Let us know on social media if you plan to #StartSomethingNew in 2019.