A few weeks ago, I saw a video of an opera singer, a 65-year-old man, who had learned a new technique. He had asked his vocal coach how to sing a particular style. Many people were surprised he still had a teacher. Surely, after years of having a successful career in the business, he knew how to sing? The singer commented that it was essential to stay up to date, to keep your technique up to par.
It’s easy to lose sight of this development. Our society is set up linearly: you go to school, get a degree, and go to work. That’s it. Why would you continue to learn if you already have your diplomas and you’ve found a job? In my opinion, you should never stop learning.
The Easy Way
Sitting back and letting the years pass by is easy. You’ve got your job, you watch TV, once per year you go on holiday to a warm location, and that’s it. I suppose for a large part of the population, this is enough. And trust me, when I had worked in retail a day from 7 AM to 5 PM, I didn’t want to go home and study for fun, just to improve myself. And yet…
I’m in the process of improving myself on both a personal and a professional level.
So I listen to podcasts to learn new ideas. One podcast I recently discovered is ‘The Art of Happiness‘ with Arthur Brooks. He’s a happiness scientist, and his shows are filled with tips and techniques to improve your life. He’s not just a self-help author, but he actually reviews academic studies and tells you the lessons he learned from them. I can definitely recommend his work.
Dr Jordan Peterson
Another podcast I listen to is ‘The Jordan B. Peterson’ podcast‘. This man is so erudite. He goes so fast I often can’t follow him, but whatever I do pick up is essential and usually sticks with me for days. I love his look at religion, also on Christianity. How it’s important to have a shared background within a culture. You don’t even have to believe in God, but the Bible’s stories show the values we hold important in our lives. How certain items and paintings hold value because they have been passed down through generations. Many videos of his are on YouTube, of his lectures, his podcasts and interviews, so do check him out.
Professionally, I try to keep improving myself too. As a member of the Medium magazine ‘Tantalizing Tales,’ I publish one story per week. This can definitely be challenging at times, but I do keep it up. Since I’m an editor for this project, too, I’m learning how best to phrase my critiques so we can create a better story together. For my role as a jury member for the Blogable Marathon, I do the same thing. I find it extremely important to read other people’s work and see what I can learn from them and how my perspective on their work can benefit the author. To me, projects like this improve both parties.
At the same time, I’m also looking to improve my website. I’m looking to move away from WordPress and hope to migrate my sites to Jekyll one day. The site www.theoralsexproject.nl is already running on this technique. I hope this will give me more control over how the site looks and its security. It’s a steep learning curve, but together with my husband, we hope to accomplish it.
Never Too Late
Generally speaking, you can say I’m always looking to improve myself. And no, not seven days a week. I, too, watch television and play video games. But if that goes on for too long, I become bored, and I will begin searching for something new to learn. I hope this will keep my mind flexible and life exciting. After all, you’re never too old to learn.