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Lesson 3: The Joy of Learning

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The joy of learning

by Clayton

Learning something new may not sound like the most exciting way to spend your time. However, learning can actually be a joyous and powerful thing, as it’s all about feeding your curiosity and giving you further insight into the world around you.

Watch the video below to see how learning can change how you see the world.

When I was in middle school, we were taught astronomy only long enough to learn that the solar system existed. Then we moved on to other subjects. However, my curiosity had been stirred, and I needed much more. I sought out whatever I could find on the planets, stars, the Voyager probes, the grand scale of the universe, you name it. Because I wanted to learn for its own sake, I discovered a great deal of enjoyment and knowledge.

How learning helps you

Learning is a crucial part of growing both professionally and personally, but we often don’t consider the reasons why it is so powerful. Once you think about it, learning can help you:

  • Indulge your curiosity
  • Find a new hobby
  • Develop a new job skill
  • Become better informed on current events
  • Come to an educated decision
  • Alleviate a fear

But the biggest thing learning can do is change you for the better. As I became an adult, the things I learned about astronomy influenced my worldview, and that knowledge made me reconsider the nature of our planet and my role on it. I never would have seen the universe this way if I hadn’t listened to my curiosity and explored something new.

Obviously, there are plenty of benefits to learning, but what if learning doesn’t come easily?

Old roadblocks

While learning is usually a rewarding experience, you may hesitate at the thought of going through the learning process. You may have had an unhelpful teacher, difficulty in school, or other unpleasant memories. Believe me, I know the feeling.

In college, I wanted to study a subject I knew nothing about, so I signed up for an Italian language class. However, whenever I got too many homework questions wrong, my teacher would shame me during class. I quickly grew to loathe the thought of going to class, and over the course of that semester my grades suffered and my interest in Italian vanished. Essentially, a bad teacher got between me and the joy of learning something outside of my comfort zone.

Whatever you do in life, don’t let anyone or anything disrupt your pursuit of knowledge. Yes, this can be easier said than done, but the benefits of learning and exploring new ideas are too important to lose.

Exploring new ideas

Once you're curious about a new subject or skill, you're going to want to explore it. Luckily, there is a vast amount of knowledge out there, just waiting to be discovered.

Of course, you have the world at your fingertips right now, thanks to the Internet and its near-limitless selection of websites, podcasts, e-books, and more. This incredible amount of knowledge can feed your curiosity quickly, so don't be afraid to tap into it whenever you want to understand something new.

Firsthand experience is the best way to learn a new skill, and you can use online resources to guide you. Want to play piano? Find a practice website, get a piano or keyboard, and start playing. Want to learn how to jog properly? Study some exercise videos and put on your running shoes. You’ll make plenty of mistakes as you learn and practice, sure, but you’ll gain invaluable experience too.

Another great way to explore is to join a group dedicated to your chosen subject. For instance, I’m interested in beekeeping but don’t have any hives of my own, so I joined a beekeeping group. I was a little nervous about stepping into a new social circle, I'll admit, but once I got to know people, they were delighted to share their knowledge. A few of them even let me work alongside them as they tended their hives. (Yes, I have a beekeeper suit. It's pretty cool.)

Whatever you're interested in, I recommend trying it out as soon as you can because the joy of learning is infectious and powerful, and it can change the way you perceive the world. Embrace this joy, and let your curiosity run wild.

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