🌟 Embrace the Excitement of New Discoveries
When was the last time you felt total joy because you learned something new? A new language? A new instrument? A new sport? A new trick?
Kids learn new things every day, and they’re so happy when they do. You can tell from the smiles on their faces. They look excited and proud of themselves when they learn how to walk, ride a bicycle, or swim.
🏊♂️ Joyful Moments of Learning Something New
My earliest memory of feeling great joy after learning something new was when I learned how to swim. When I was in 1st grade, I put in hours of swimming practice. I still remember the joy I felt when I finally learned how to move forward in the water and not sink.
My most recent example of finding joy in learning was when I was able to do a Yoga handstand against a wall. I was able to do poses such as Side Crow, Flying Crow, Dancer Pose with a few tries. But the handstand was so hard for me. I tried for several months, but I wasn’t getting it. Then one day, my legs lifted up, and I did a handstand! I remember grinning with my body upside down.
📚 Adults Stop Learning for the Sake of Learning
You probably learn things related to your work because you want to keep your job or move ahead in your career. You might drive your kids around to soccer practice or ballet lessons. But not many adults would do something like that for themselves.
Maybe they think, “Learning something new for the sake of learning is what kids do because they are still growing up. I’m a grown-up, and I’m done learning.”
There are many reasons why adults have that mindset. Maybe time is an issue. You’re busy with work and family responsibilities. Maybe lack of interest is another issue. Maybe you’d rather conserve energy by scrolling through your phone passively instead of taxing your brain!
😱 Fear is One of the Main Reasons for Not Learning New Things
There’s another major reason why adults shy away from learning new things. When you’re a total beginner, you have no idea what you’re doing. Adults haven’t experienced the unknown for many years. Not knowing what you’re doing can make you uncomfortable.
You worry that other people might think you’re stupid. You think you have established your status or image. You don’t want to make a fool of yourself and be vulnerable in front of others.
🧘 A Beginner’s Mind Can Give You Tremendous Joy
Richard Feynman, a Nobel laureate in Physics, didn’t mind being vulnerable and enjoyed trying new things. In his book “Surely You’re Joking, Mr. Feynman! Adventures of a Curious Character,” he said:
“You have no responsibility to live up to what other people think you ought to accomplish. I have no responsibility to be like they expect me to be. It’s their mistake, not my failing.”
According to the book, he always tried new things without worrying about damaging his status or image as a physicist. He learned to paint and play drums late in life. He practiced with a beginner’s mind, and he loved it. Learning itself was his purpose.
🧠 Adults Need to Shift Their Mindset to Feel Joy in Life Again!
With a little shift in your mindset, you can give yourself permission to learn something new and experience pure joy in life. Antidepressant pills aren’t needed here!
Here are some tips to make the shift:
✅ It’s okay to show your vulnerability. You might think other people think you’re stupid. But the reality is that others aren’t paying that much attention to you.
✅ Becoming comfortable with being uncomfortable can give you tremendous joy and growth in life.
✅ You aren’t learning the new thing because you need to be the master of it. Learning itself is the purpose. There isn’t a destination.
✅ It’s not a waste of time to learn something new that’s not career or work-related. Give yourself permission to learn something new just for the joy of it.
✅ You might think, “I will never be able to play the guitar well this late in life.” Well, you might not become a professional musician, but you might be able to play at your friends’ party.
💡 Do This Now
Do you have something you always wanted to learn but haven’t tried because you thought it’s too late or you don’t have any talent for it? Guitar? Paint? Dance? Give it a try with no strings attached, just for fun. You might be surprised by the joy it brings to you!