Learning is Earning
April 25, 2014
There is a certain aspect of the human mind which I feel is all too often taken for granted. It’s one that is so relevant to our day-to-day lives that if we didn’t have it, human civilization would cease to exist–or at least not in the way it exists now. This trait I speak of is our ability to learn.
Everyone has this ability to some extent, but here’s the catch; just like any of our physical abilities, our mental ones also become weaker without frequent use. Obviously as a developer this has very big implications. Technology is constantly changing so if your brain isn’t up to the task of learning, you will fall behind rather quickly. However, I don’t want to restrict this discussion just to web developers. Everyone can use more brain power; from neuroscientists to cooks, athletes to legislators.
Regular exposure to new concepts, ideas, and problems not only broaden your horizons in general, but it also allows you to learn new things more easily. You are making your mind “athletic” so that it finds new mental tasks less daunting. There are even studies that show that mental exercises help to prevent Alzheimer’s disease.
Now the question is “How do I do this? How do I find things to learn?” Well, if you are a developer, that’s easy; just go to work and there’s a good chance that you’ll regularly run into new coding challenges every day. If you are not a developer or you don’t have a job that requires constant growth, then create your own. Learn a new language, get a book that discusses a topic about which you are curious, or buy a huge jigsaw puzzle or Lego set. You could try doing some exercises on a site like Lumosity.
It doesn’t matter what you do, only that you feel that your mind is sufficiently stimulated and that at the end of the day you feel like you’ve taxed your brain; even if it’s only a little while. Like physical exercise, it takes time to get used to this “workout.” If you haven’t been in school for a while or tried to learn any new tasks recently, then you may find this habit very challenging to adopt at first. Again, like exercise it becomes relatively enjoyable and soon you won’t be able to imagine life without it.
While it’s easy to find motivation for physical health with all the healthy eating commercials and gym equipment advertisements, remember to properly exercise your brain as well this year.
Photo Credit: Lydia Darnall on Flickr Creative Commons
Stay up to date with our email updates!