If you have ever paid any attention to people who have achieved great success in their lives, you might notice one common denominator — winners continually strive to master their skills — but they also improve themselves by learning new things.
This doesn’t necessarily mean earning an M.B.A. or some kind of certification, although formal educational endeavors can certainly propel your career to new levels. What it does mean is that winners are curious about the world in which they live.
They continually challenge themselves by tackling new projects — or sometimes by simply learning a new skill.
Your new skill:
Research has proven again and again that elderly people who strive to learn new things — a new language or skill — or engage in mental exercises such as crossword puzzles, live longer, feel happier and have slower cognitive decline.
National Public Radio did a story a while back on a study that compared two groups of older people. One group spent three months learning a new skill and the other engaged in fun, but not mentally challenging activities such as watching movies. The group who learned something new performed much higher on memory tests — even a year later! You can listen to the story below.
Maybe you’re not quite in the “elderly” category, so you’re thinking, “This doesn’t really apply to me.” Regardless of your age, learning a new skill can only bring you a positive outcome in some way. This can be a positive cognitive benefit, but even learning a new physical skill such as archery or martial arts can also improve your physical health.
You might be saying, “Sounds great, but I really don’t have time” or “I don’t really know what skill I would be interested in learning.”
Fair enough. However, we’re going to make it a little easier for you to discover what options are out there and how to learn new things. Stay tuned, because in our next post, we’re going to share tips on how to get started and where to learn new skills!
Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever. – Mahatma Gandhi
In the meantime, have you checked out my book yet? WINology, World Class Performance will give you the strategies you need to become the winner you’re meant to be!
Have you learned a new skill recently? Let us know in the comments section below!
Image quote attribution: John Wooden, author