On Learning

Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty. Anyone who keeps learning stays young. The greatest thing in life is to keep your mind young.

Henry Ford

It’s the summer, and here in New England, that means incredible humidity where even the thought of going outside can give you heatstroke. On these particular days, it’s sometimes hard to justify doing something. Everything in you is screaming to just lay in bed and laze around to avoid the summer heat. 

Don’t exercise.

Don’t work.

Don’t socialize.

It’s this exact attitude, no matter what situation you’re in, regardless of age or position in life, which can be so harmful. Because when you don’t do things, you put yourself into this endless spiral of wanting to do less and less and then feeling bad about yourself because you’re not doing anything.

Self-pity is not desirable. If you find yourself bored on these days, seek to learn something new. When you learn a new skill, develop a fascinating hobby, or delve deep into a topic that you’ve always wanted to know more about, you’re making progress.

Even if it’s just a couple minutes of learning per day, just a tiny bit of work, at least you did something. As James Clear explained in his book Atomic Habits, you develop habits and improve yourself by making small, even minuscule changes over time. If you made yourself even 1% better every day, by the end of the year, you would be 3,700% better!

So what are you going to do today?

What are you going to learn?