“Apparently when Michelangelo (painter, sculptor, architect, poet – original Renaissance man) was 87 years old he said, “Ancora imparo” – I am still learning.
Reasons to stop learning (most of us won’t articulate these, but they are in the back of our minds when we step back rather than forward towards a learning opportunity):
- Fear – of what others will think, of looking stupid, of being wrong, of not being able to accomplish whatever we want to learn
- Time – to accomplish something new, we need to set aside time, make it a priority and stop doing activities that are less meaningful
- Settling – the comfort and safety of the known can cause us to settle for staying stuck, rather than trying new things
- Lack of imagination – we have never pictured ourselves doing the new thing – being a lifeguard, writing a book, climbing a mountain, speaking in front of a crowd, telling our story
Reasons to keep on learning:
- Stretching – it’s as good for our minds as it is for our muscles
- Stewarding – we have gifts and influence we can invest for the kingdom, in every season of life
- Serving – the lifeguard learns so she can save a life – I learn so I can serve my community in some way”
What are the reasons you give for either backing away from new experiences or embracing them with gusto?
As a middle-aged college student, I’ve obviously decided that I have more to learn. In fact, when I graduate next month *cheesy grin* I will still want to keep learning.
If I stop learning, I believe I’ll shrivel up and die. My brain craves new information and experiences. I don’t want to ever say, “I’m too old for that.”
This old dog is happy to learn new tricks.